Address: Vancouver, BC Canada


Catherine Carmack (1957-2003)

Professional cellist, composer, conductor and teacher Catherine Carmack has passed away.

Catherine obtained her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of British Columbia and then studied with Jacqueline de Pre in England. For the past 20 years she has performed, taught and conducted in western Canada, with several of her high school ensembles taking first place in international competition.

Catherine, who lived in North Vancouver, British Columbia, was an early advocate of the influence of music on the brain, which led to a year of postgraduate research at Cambridge University in 1993.

On 12 December 2003, at the age of 46 and after a 7-year fight against cancer, Catherine died from complications of an infection contracted during treatment. She passed away in Lions Gate Hospital, North Vancouver.

At a celebration of her life held in Vancouver on Sunday 21 December 2003, Catherine's friend and colleague, pianist Carolyn Roberts Finlay, said that if there was one word to sum up Catherine's commitment to music, it would be 'passion.' 'She was passionate about playing music, teaching music, and everything associated with music.' Catherine believed in the ability of music to give voice to the inner workings of the soul, Carolyn said, and was convinced 'that music was absolutely essential to everyone's spiritual wellbeing. Catherine had an extraordinary talent for not only giving people the craft of their art, but also inspiring them to create.'

Catherine is survived by her mother Mary Whybray, her father Ross Alden (formerly Murray Carmack) and her sister Elizabeth Carmack.

-from Patricia Graham's obituary of Catherine Carmack. Previously published on 19 January 2004 in Vancouver, Canada.