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THE SCOOP | Canada’s Rilian Trio Wins 12th Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition

By Anya Wassenberg on October 2, 2023

The Rilian Trio: Daniel Dastoor; David Liam Roberts; Godwin Friesen (Photo courtesy of the artists)
The Rilian Trio: Daniel Dastoor; David Liam Roberts; Godwin Friesen (Photo courtesy of the artists)

Canada’s Rilian Trio has won first prize at the 12th Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition in Norway. The win comes after a highly competitive set of final rounds, which were held on Saturday, September 30.

The trio of young up-and-coming musicians, pianist Godwin Friesen, violinist Daniel Dastoor, and cellist David Liam Roberts, was formed in 2021 at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.

The Competition

Norway’s Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition is focused on young musicians, and has become an important showcase. Held every two years, the Competitions alternates between piano trios and string quartets. Along with the competition, the musicians are coached and mentors by experienced teachers and musicians.

The Trio was selected from seven chamber groups who made it to the finals. All of the finalists were required to perform the same piece — Schubert’s Piano Trio No. 1 in B-flat major, D 898.

“It has been incredibly moving to listen to performances of such astonishing maturity” said Anthony Marwood, Leader of the Jury, during the awards presentation.

Here’s the Rilian Trio’s winning performance:

The Rilian Trio

According to a statement, the three musicians are united by “their shared passion for chamber music and depth of musical narrative”. Not long after their formation, the Rilian Trio went on to win the GGS Chamber Music Competition. At the GGS, they were mentored by Bryan Epperson.

Along with Trondheim, and Levanger, Norway, the trio has performed in Montreal and Toronto, including the premiere of a new work by Rilian’s pianist, Godwin Friesen.

In addition to their work as a trio, the individual members of the ensemble have racked up other impressive wins in recent years:

The Prizes

The 1st prize, along with the recognition, comes with a purse of 15,000 EURO, along with festival engagements for the upcoming year.

The remaining prize wins were:

  • 2nd prize: 10,000 EURO: Trio Tokava (United States)
  • 3rd prize: 5,000 EURO: Trio Incendio (Czech Republic)
  • Commission Prize 1,000 EURO: Rilian Trio for the best interpretation of the first performance of a commissioned piece (Shining Through by composer Ellen Lindquist)
  • Audience Prize: Rilian Trio
  • Jury Special Prize: Trio Tokava

The jury members were drawn from all over the world: Anthony Marwood (UK/NL), Anja Lechner (DE), Arisa Fujita (JP), Berit Cardas (NO), Christian Ihle Hadland (NO), Louise Hopkins (UK) and Stefan Mendl (AT)

Congratulations on a well-deserved win. We will no doubt be hearing much more from the trio and its members in the coming years.


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