Bourgie Hall presents

Ensemble Variances (France) & Paramirabo – Pulse

A pulse—both musical beat and vital sign of human life—courses through this concert, connecting works that examine the challenges currently facing humanity and the natural environment, with music built upon an exhilarating rhythmic figure.

Ensemble Variances

Ensemble Variances was founded in 2010 by French composer and pianist Thierry Pécou with the vision of linking the music of our time, with contemporary humanitarian and environmental issues.

Their call to social activism through the power of music has opened new audiences to contemporary music and has led to engagements at Wigmore Hall London (Great Britain), Festival Présences de Radio France (Paris, France), the Auditorium de Lyon (France), Musikfestspiele Potsdam (Germany), Gaudeamus muziekweek Utrecht (Netherlands), the Lux Aeterna Festival of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg (Germany), Music on Main Vancouver (Canada), the Detroit Institute of Arts (United States of America) and the Phillips Collection (United States of America).

The philosophy of the ensemble is inspired by the reflections of Martinique-born French philosopher and poet, Édouard Glissant calling for cultural diversity. Through theatrical and musical narratives Ensemble Variances’ collaborations are inspired by Amerindian, Afro-American and Indian cultures.  Ensemble Variances and Thierry Pécou are based in Rouen in the heart of Normandy.

Thierry Pécou, piano and direction
Anne Cartel, flute
Carjez Gerretsen, clarinet
Pierre Bibault, electric bass guitar
Romuald Grimbert-Barré, violin
Hélène Hadjiyiassemis, violin and viola
David Louwerse, cello


The intrepid and dedicated members of Ensemble Paramirabo come together as a single voice to perform contemporary music, showcase emerging Canadian composers, and expand the boundaries of the traditional concert experience. As a creator of innovative events, the group provides young composers with a venue for refining their trademark within Montreal’s vibrant new music scene and act as a springboard for exposure abroad. The ensemble’s flutist, Jeffrey Stonehouse, has been the group’s artistic director since its founding.

Taking its name from the piece Paramirabo, by Montreal composer Claude Vivier, the ensemble’s roots date back to 2008 at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal. The ensemble has toured internationally to Belgium, England and Mexico and has been invited to Festival LOOP and Ars Musica (Mons, Liège and Bruxelle, 2019), Waterloo Region Contemporary Music Sessions (2018), Frontiers Festival (Birmingham, 2016), Eduardo Mata Festival (Oaxaca, 2016), New York’s Mise-En Festival (2014), Winnipeg’s Cluster New Music Festival and Montreal Contemporary Music Lab (2013). Paramirabo has been ensemble-in-residence for the Domaine Forget International Music and Dance Academy’s New Music Session since 2017.

Jeffrey Stonehouse, flutes and direction
Charlotte Layec, clarinet
Hubert Brizard, violin
Lyne Allard, violin and viola
Viviane Gosselin, cello
Pamela Reimer, piano
Krystina Marcoux, percussion

Missy MAZZOLI Still Life in Avalanche
Steve REICH Pulse
Marc Patch Les mémoires du miroir de quartz
Cassandra MILLER Perfect Offering (North American premiere)
Thierry PÉCOU Byar (World Premiere)

Pre-concert talk at 6:30pm
An hour before the concert, you are invited to discover the works with guest Thierry Pécou (composer, performer and founder of the Ensemble Variances) and Jeffrey Stonehouse (artistic director and flutist of Paramirabo). There will be a conversation on the themes of pulsation and international collaboration between two ensembles.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023 at 7:30pm
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