La Nef: 30th Anniversary

Author : (Arnaud G. Veydarier)
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This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

It’s already been more than 30 years since La Nef started its crazy musical journey. Beyond the cultural and stylistic barriers, the musical company navigates between old, new, traditional and folk music from here and elsewhere, offering to the public a repertoire and creations always richer and more varied.

To celebrate this heritage, La Nef invites the public to a festive and ­convivial concert on April 21 at the Maison de la culture Maisonneuve. In addition to offering a retrospective of its most important productions, the concert will also be an opportunity to thank and highlight the ­contributions of the many artists and collaborators in its long journey.

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A question of choice

In three decades of activity, La Nef has produced over 110 concerts and nearly 30 recordings. It is quite a challenge for artistic director Claire Gignac to select the works to be ­included in the evening’s program. “It’s a beautiful problem,” she says of the difficulty of summing up 30 years of music in one concert.

Divided into six tableaux tracing La Nef’s major artistic milestones, the evening will open with excerpts from the repertoire of Musique pour Jeanne la folle, the very first concert given in 1991. Imagined as a musical evening that would have been organized for the Spanish queen Joan I of Castile, the show offers a fascinating rereading of early music from the 15th and 16th centuries. The following tableaux will offer a panorama of the many musical styles and traditions that La Nef has tackled throughout its history, with the evening concluding with their most recent concert, Baratin d’marins. This great ­happening of ancient, traditional and folk music will include excerpts from the Celtic repertoire and sea shanties. The music will be provided by a dozen performers and a few ­surprise guests under the direction of La Nef’s co-artistic director, Seán Dagher.


Founded in 1991 by Sylvain Bergeron, Claire Gignac and Viviane Leblanc, La Nef’s mission is to reinvent ancient music of all origins, whether it be Byzantine, Indian, Cathar or Sephardic. This desire to make accessible and to present in a new light a repertoire too often reserved for the initiated leads La Nef to ­infuse its concerts with a multidisciplinary dimension, borrowing in particular from theatre, dance, and the visual and digital arts. ­Although it occasionally offends the sensibilities of certain purists, the quality and audacity of its productions have earned it dozens of awards and nominations. Even after 30 years, La Nef still continues its fascinating journey against all odds. 

La Nef s’éclate, Thursday, April 21, 2022 at Maison de la culture Maisonneuve.

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)


About Author

Arnaud G. Veydarier est actuellement étudiant en musicologie à l’Université de Montréal et nourrit un intérêt prononcé pour le jazz, la musique contemporaine et les liens entre musique et développement urbain. Il est pigiste pour La Scena Musicale depuis septembre 2017.

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