Halifax Chamber Musicians

Halifax Chamber Musicians Chamber music organization active 1983-9 which offered a series of four concerts annually (the Gallery Series) at Saint Mary's UArt Gallery in Halifax. The group was formed in part to give musicians in the floundering Atlantic Symphony Orchestra new performance venues. Founders included coordinator and director John Rapson (principal clarinet of the Atlantic SO, and later of Symphony Nova Scotia), William Tritt (who became director for the final season while based in New York), and Leighton Davis (director of the gallery). The instrumentation varied with each concert; among the performers who appeared (in addition to Rapson and Tritt) were violinists Philippe Djokic, Chantal Juillet, Ryan Kho, and Anne Rapson, violists Andrew Simpson and Burt Wathen, and cellists Pierre Djokic, William Valleau, and Shimon Walt, with others drawn locally as required - often woodwind principals from the orchestra. Guest artists were invited to perform in sonatas or in chamber combinations, among them James Campbell, Steven Dann, Rivka Golani, Terence Helmer, Catherine Robbin, and Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi. Programs, recorded for broadcast by the CBC, consisted of standard and contemporary repertoire as well as less-often-performed fare by Rebecca Clarke, Bernard Crusell, Maurice Duruflé, and Robert Muczynski. Canadian composers whose works were played included Jean Coulthard, Victor Davies, Srul Irving Glick, Talivaldis Kenins, Phil Nimmons, Peter Ware, John Weinzweig, and Alasdair MacLean (b Liverpool, NS, 1955), whose String Quartet was premiered in 1985. Despite its popularity the series was terminated in 1989 because of scheduling difficulties.