The Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Canada’s premier baroque ensemble, headlines 2008/09 Coast Recital Society (CRS) season. “This gala concert is a splendid addition to our new season’s six-recital playbill,” said CRS artistic director Frances Heinsheimer Wainwright.

The CRS season begins Oct. 26 with Acadian-born soprano Suzie LeBlanc. Known for the beauty of her pure vocal sound, LeBlanc will perform with pianist Robert Kortgaard, a favourite collaborator with many of Canada’s finest musicians. Moving from Acadia to Russia, the Nov. 9 concert features the St. Petersburg String Quartet, an ensemble celebrated for their flawless musical insight.

Next, to herald the festive season, the CRS presents Celebrate Baroque — with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, under the direction of Jeanne Lamon. Ticket holders for this Nov. 30 event are also invited to an after-concert reception. This gala concert is sold separately from the six-concert CRS subscription series.

“Celebrate Baroque is the fulfillment of much planning and high anticipation,” said Wainwright. “Tafelmusik last performed on the Coast in 1988. We’re long overdue a return engagement from Canada’s pre-eminent contribution to the period instrument musical world.”

During their two-day stay here, Tafelmusik will also appear at a special event for local elementary school students, as part of the CRS Artists in the Community program.

The 2009 portion of the CRS season starts Feb. 1 with the creative partnership of Antonio Lysy, cello, and Jane Coop, piano, performing an all-Beethoven program.

On Feb. 22 the CRS welcomes back an audience favourite, pianist Robert Silverman.

The 2008 Grammy and Juno awards winner, Canadian violinist James Ehnes, appears March 29 in recital with pianist Andrew Russo. “The CRS season ends on a high note April 4 with the brilliant, Russian-born pianist Yevgeny Sudbin, who made his spectacular CRS debut in 2006,” Wainwright said.

Subscriptions are still available for the CRS 2008/09 concert season. Call Rosemarie Zoernack at 604-886-7412 for subscriptions and tickets for the Celebrate Baroque gala with Tafelmusik. More information is at www.coastrecital@dccnet.com.