Known for their innovative programming and unique arrangements of classical repertoire, Montreal string ensemble collectif9 performs “with an infectious energy and vigour that grabs an audience’s attention” (The WholeNote). Since their 2011 debut, collectif9 has performed numerous concerts across North America, Europe, and Asia. As performers of classical and contemporary music, the ensemble combines the power of an orchestra with the agility of a chamber ensemble. collectif9 operates on the premise that a change of context can influence communication and experience.
collectif9 presents several new programmes every season in Montréal, Canada, and their national and international touring schedule includes performances in chamber music series, festivals, universities, and more. Highlights include concerts in the Festival de Música de Morelia (Mexico), La Folle journée de Nantes (France), Festival de Lanaudière (Québec), Shenzhen Concert Hall (China), and Sound Unbound (Barbican Centre, London). The ensemble continues to explore new repertoire and new artistic partnerships with composers, video artists, poets, lighting designers, and other inspired collaborators, to create multidisciplinary projects that come to life in acoustic or amplified settings.
In 2021, collectif9 signed with leading European label Alpha Classics - a partnership that begins with the re-release of the group’s 2nd album, No Time for Chamber Music, that features music written by (and inspired by) Gustav Mahler. This album presents a new angle on the composer’s symphonies and lieder, transforming them from their original form - often symphonic in nature - into chamber music for nine. These original arrangements integrate textural exploration, improvisation, and above all, interaction and spontaneity, transporting the listener into a world of imagery.
During the atypical 2020-21 season, the group produced a series of film-concerts (live performances filmed with a cinematographic approach), productions described as “displaying genuine mastery, created with a deep understanding of the issues facing the audience” (Barcza Blog). Rituæls is a mystical artistic experience that unites works from the Middle Ages to the 21st century (von Bingen, Pärt, Lizée, Dessner, Tippett, and Morlock), elevated by a performance of the charismatic dancer Stacey Désilier. The Night of the Flying Horsespresents Romani music from the last 500 years, French music from the early 17th century (Couperin), and European classical music from the 21st century (Golijov). Vagues et ombres (to be released in Dec. 2021) is an ode to water and an homage to the musical universe of Claude Debussy, including a new work by Luna Pearl Woolf as well as shadow artistry by Mere Phantoms. These productions are shown periodically in festivals and cultural programming, and will be available to the Canadian public on ARTS.FILM, the new initiative from the International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) from December 2021.
Inspired by the processes of other artistic movements, collectif9 continually searches for new ways of expression within the classical medium, fostering communication and collaboration between artists of all kinds and members of society. The group is also committed to the preparation of specially-designed school shows and presentations, masterclasses, and workshops. Created specifically for their intended group, collectif9 ’s educational activities focus on energy, shared experiences, and exploration.
collectif9 has received a great deal of support and encouragement, and is very grateful to the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts de Montréal, and FACTOR.