Ensemble Made in Canada

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

Co-founded in 2006 by violist Sharon Wei and pianist Angela Park, the Ensemble Made In Canada includes Elissa Lee (violin) and Rachel Mercer (cello). It is now one of Canada’s leading piano quartets and will be performing at the Montréal/Nouvelles Musiques Festival on Feb. 25 as part of a national tour.

For its new Mosaïque Project, EMIC commissioned each of 14 Canadians to write a four-minute piano quartet inspired by a particular region of Canada. Among the composers are Nicolas Gilbert (Quebec), Julie Doiron (New Brunswick), Kevin Lau (Yukon Territory), Nicole Lizée (Saskatchewan), Richard Mascall (Ontario), Samy Moussa (Nunavut) and Ana Sokolović (British Columbia). The quartet chose composers from various musical genres (classical, jazz, singer-songwriter, electronic, and First Nations traditions) to create a unique 60-minute musical quilt that represents multiple layers of Canada’s multifaceted society and artistic culture.

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Piano Quartet for Quebec

The piano quartet for Quebec, written by Montreal-born Gilbert, is called Ilôts. He explains: “Something that we hear throughout the piece is actually the flow of the river [i.e. the St. Lawrence]. The water is there from the beginning to the end. It is in the background when we are in what I call ‘urban’ sections of the piece. Water comes to the foreground between those sections and eventually takes the lead, flowing into the sea.”

This is the first time Gilbert has composed for piano quartet. “I have written four or five trios. Here I add an alto voice, which gives a more medium-low texture. It’s a great ensemble with a great repertoire. As a composer, there are still some issues in order to blend both the strings with the piano. But it’s a real pleasure to compose for an ensemble like this one.”

The Mosaïque Project is a tour comprising concerts in all 10 Canadian provinces and three territories between July 2018 and January 2020. A large portion of the tour includes performances in traditional concert halls and as part of festivals such as the MNM Festival organized by the SMCQ. In order to reach a broad audience, special self-produced concerts were held in places like Nunavut’s St. Jude’s Igloo Cathedral, Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick and the Great Hall of Toronto’s Union Station.

Ensemble Made In Canada will continue its tour in the Yukon Territory and Alberta through the month of March. www.ensemblemadeincanada.com

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


About Author

Justin Bernard est détenteur d’un doctorat en musique de l’Université de Montréal. Ses recherches portent sur la médiation musicale, notamment par le biais des nouveaux outils numériques, ainsi que sur la relation entre opéra et cinéma. Membre de l’Observatoire interdisciplinaire de création et de recherche en musique (OICRM), il a réalisé une série de capsules vidéo éducatives pour l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. Justin Bernard est également l’auteur de notes de programme pour le compte de la salle Bourgie du Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal et chargé de cours à l’Université de Sherbrooke. Par ailleurs, il anime une émission d’opéra et une chronique musicale à Radio VM (91,3 FM).

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