Europe has its “12 cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic” and the “Cello Octet Amsterdam”, who have toured the world as concert cellists. Now, it is Montreal’s turn to have its own such concept. With this in mind, Vincent Bélanger created Les 9, a group of 8 young Canadian cellists and one double bassist, assembled as a unique merger of exceptional talents and virtuosity. They will perform live May 22 at Salle André Mathieu, and May 23 at Maison symphonique. The Ensemble recently made its debut with the original numerical recording Abstractions, distributed on the independent BANDCAMP platform with worldwide distribution.

Les 9, with Vincent Bélanger also acting as Music Director, aims to explore the original, unique and universal musical world the cello embraces. Discoveries abound: ageless classics revisited and/or adapted, Latin music, whimsical modern music and an original composition by Christian Thomas’ Adaptation or the perpetual movement of the human  being. Thomas is well-known on the Montreal theatrical scene for his numerous music scores performed at the TNM, Théâtre Jean Duceppe and the Segal Center for Performing Arts.

The various themes developed by Les 9 address current contemporary issues, with the hope to reach and interest a broad public as they concern us all:  “the power of projecting ourselves beyond what divides us.”

Vincent Bélanger was admitted at the Québec Conservatory in 1992, at the age of 13. In 1999, he went to France where he studied with of one of the most celebrated French cellists, Yvan Chiffoleau, professor at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique (CNSM) Lyon, France, where he received the Cello Master-Class Diploma and five Chamber Music prizes.

He returned to Québec in 2003 and quickly got involved in Québec’s musical scene through teaching, composing, recording and recitals. In 2011, his first album of mixed repertoire, Là, received excellent reviews and became Best Seller on HD Tracks.

His association with Audio Note also began in Québec. Subsequent to his  numerous successful activities as soloist and chamber musician for Audio Note UK, he was, in 2016, named Artistic Director of the record company (Ausio Note Music ANM) (UK) for which he has recorded : Pure Cello and Edna Stern. Both albums have enjoyed a very successful international distribution and a warm reception in Europe, Asia and the USA.

As Musical Ambassador of AudioNote UK, he has toured as solo cellist in five European countries in 2020; France, the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany.

Les 9 will bring its pubic a unique experience filled with emotion and discoveries. For a preview, here’s a YouTube rehearsal video.

Presented by GFN Productions, Les 9 will be in concert in Laval on Saturday, May 22 at 2pm and 5pm at Salle André Mathieu. Box office: 450-682-6009. Place des Arts, Maison symphonique on Sunday, May 23 at 2pm and 5pm. Place des Arts Box office: 450-759-4343 or 1-800-561-4343. Socially distanced seating is limited.