Our New Musical Director 2018
Chris Redsell, a Canadian born in a Northern Ontario mining community, dreamed of making a career in music playing the viola, against the advice of his engineering father – who eventually became his greatest fan. He studied viola at the University of Toronto, then went on to Rome, Italy, where he continued studying with Dino Asciolla, the last violist of Quartetto Italiano.
Chris started his professional career in Rome at the Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia where he was exposed to conducting maestros like Carlo Maria Giulini, Claudio Abbado, Wolfgang Sawallisch, and Carlos Klieber. An audition for the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in England landed him a co-principal viola position, which he held for six years. Following that period, he took the opportunity to go back to Italy to conduct a string orchestra, the Orchestra da Camera Luigi Boccherini; a little later, he conducted another, the Archi Italiano.
While continuing to enjoy chamber music as a violist, Chris spent more time working with and coaching string orchestras, mostly in Basel, Switzerland, and with young, European musicians at the Bedstone International Summer Youth Orchestra Camp in England. Between 1989 and 1997, Chris also founded and ran a chamber music festival, Giambori, in the hills outside of Lucca, Tuscany.
A health scare prompted Chris to rethink his life, and in 2013 he and his wife moved back to Canada. Pulled by the West Coast, which he had enjoyed while still a student, Chris now sails year-round throughout the Gulf Island region and beyond. Because he can’t help it, he has resurrected Giambori in the Gulf Islands where he lives, and is now excited and greatly looking forward to working with the Cowichan Camerata String Orchestra.