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Renowned composer scores Garibaldi Trio reunion this weekend

An upcoming concert produced by the Coast Recital Society will feature a world premiere commissioned specially for the featured ensemble: the Garibaldi Trio. The trio will return to the Raven’s Cry Theatre in Sechelt for a performance on Feb.
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Composer Stephen Chatman wrote an original work that will be performed this weekend by the Garibaldi Trio.

An upcoming concert produced by the Coast Recital Society will feature a world premiere commissioned specially for the featured ensemble: the Garibaldi Trio.  

The trio will return to the Raven’s Cry Theatre in Sechelt for a performance on Feb. 4 at 2:30 p.m. 

It is the first time that the society has commissioned a new work. After listening to the Garibaldi Trio perform during last year’s season, some members took steps to augment the repertoire for clarinet, viola and piano. 

The new piece, titled “Garibaldi Suite,” was written by Stephen Chatman, a former UBC faculty colleague of Garibaldi Trio musicians and a celebrated Canadian composer.  

Financial assistance for the commission came from supporters of the Coast Recital Society including past president John Storer. 

“This virtuosic work was inspired by the extraordinary musical talents of this outstanding trio,” said Chatman. 

Chatman was named to the Order of Canada in 2012. Two years prior, his choral composition Magnificat was nominated for a Juno award — one of three Juno nominations Chatman has received. “He has had a tremendous influence on a generation of prominent composers,” announced the office of the Governor General upon Chatman’s investiture. 

Chatman will attend the concert and participate in the Recital Society’s customary pre-concert conversation beginning at 1:30 p.m. 

The Coast Recital Society was directly involved in the formation of the Garibaldi Trio. In 2021, Frances Wainwright, now artistic director emeritus of the Coast Recital Society, invited the trio to create a collaborative program for the society. 

At the time, all three of its musicians were on faculty at UBC: Jose Franch-Ballester (from Spain, a clarinetist), violist Marina Thibeault (born in Québec City) and pianist David Fung (originally from Australia).   

The three were close friends on and off the stage and adopted the name Garibaldi Trio after the mountain in the backcountry area where they enjoyed hiking. 

The group’s first concert following Wainwright’s invitation was a success. Wainwright asked them to return to Sechelt in February of 2024. Even though Marina Thibeault is now teaching at McGill University in Montreal, the musicians were eager to continue their fruitful collaboration. 

All three have busy international careers and play with the world’s leading orchestras and chamber ensembles. 

In addition to the Chatman premiere, the Recital Society program will feature works by Robert Schumann, Max Bruch, Dobrinka Tabakova and Lowell Liebermann. 

Tickets for the Garibaldi Trio performance can be reserved by emailing coastrecital@dccnet.com or calling 604-885-0991 (adults: $30, students $10). For more information, browse to www.coastrecitalsociety.ca.