Once Upon a Time… all the stories that we loved as children began this way. As adults, the dream of bringing the magic of these fairy tales to life remained and became the inspiration for Talespin, Musical Tales for Big and Small.
Talespin’s name comes from the 18th-century phrase „to spin a tale“. While working their spinning wheels, English women would invent, tell and retell stories to pass the time. In a similar way, Talespin brings fairy tales from around the world to the stage. With the help of a violin, a piano, and a narrator as well as beautiful illustrations, imaginative new artistic worlds are spun into existence.
This magical, musical picture book in concert has touched audiences around the world, from India to Canada. Based in Vienna, Austria, Talespin is enchanting for children, adolescents and adults alike.

Children age 4+

  • Zekeye and the Little Tune
  • Bukolla
  • How Monkey looked for Trouble

Adolescents age 8+

  • Morgiana and the 40 Thieves
  • Why the Parrot Repeats Human Words
  • The Wise Daughter

Adults age 12+

  • Morgiana and the 40 Thieves
  • Why the Parrot Repeats Human Words
  • The Wise Daughter
  • L’Histoire du Soldat

Artistic directors: Johanna Lacroix & Chanda VanderHart

Even as a child, Johanna was a big dreamer. Every day after school, during the tram ride home, she sat with her sister Rebecca, recounting, inventing and continuing stories with her. Every day at home, Johanna would draw illustrations to accompany her own stories, written in home-made books. At age nine she fell in love with the violin, which became her profession.
Today, Johanna plays with a variety of orchestras, working with renowned conductors including Adam Fischer, Marc Minkowski, Franz Welser-Möst, Manfred Honeck, Nicholas Milton, Jean-Christophe Spinosi, Martin Haselböck, Nicolas Altstaedt and Alexander Lonqich.
To nurture her creative drive, she plays chamber music concerts featuring classical as well as modern compositions, develops interdisciplinary projects incorporating dance, literature, visual arts and song, and co-directs the concert series Ambitus-Gruppe für neue Musik.
Johanna lives with her family in Vienna. As a young mother, she particularly enjoys being able to pass along her love for music and story-telling to the next generation through Talespin.

Chanda was named after a Hindu goddess of the moon. Though her parents’ reasons for doing so remain a mystery, it is no wonder she loved stories; she spent hours of her childhood listening to them, reading them and creating them. After hearing “Peter and the Wolf” for the first time, she fell in love with the story-telling possibilities in music. She studied voice, violin, flute, piano, and oboe, but it was the piano which finally stuck.
After earning her Bachelor’s degree in piano performance from the Eastman School of Music in New York, she studied Milan and Vienna, collecting three graduate degrees in vocal accompaniment and chamber music. She graduated summa cum laude with a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (MDW) in 2016.
Chanda is on faculty at the MDW where she both lectures and works as a research assistant. She plays chamber music and art song concerts throughout Europe, Asia, and North America and is currently working on a book about lieder culture in 19th century Vienna. She regularly reviews concerts and opera productions for Bachtrack (www.Bachtrack.com) and is the co-founder of both the innovative concert series Mosaїque (www.mosaique.eu.com) and of Talespin.