Thiery Pécou’s Ensemble Variances Enthralls India
Renowned for their evocative performances, Ensemble Variances is a group of solo musicians and chamber musicians par excellence. The ensemble was founded in 2009 by the composer and pianist Thierry Pécou as a platform for musical encounters between contemporary creation and music of different traditions. Whilst on stage, the group members Anne Cartel, Cardiz Gerretsen, Liana Gourdjia, Cecilia Bercovitch, David Louwerse, Nicolas Prost, Laurène Durantel, Karim Touré and Thierry Pécou let themselves be carried away by the rhythms and pulsations of their music. Each program is conceived by Thierry Pécou and has its own organic unfolding. Alliance Française de Delhi recently piloted a three-city tour of Ensemble Variances in Kolkata (Jan 27), Chennai (Feb 1) and Delhi (Feb 3) with Thierry Pécou on the piano accompanied by Cardiz Gerretsen on the clarinet.
Born in 1965, Thierry Pécou initially studied the piano at the Conservatoire National de Région de Paris before he went to the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique (CNSM) to study orchestration and composition. Very early in his career, he discovered that he needed to realize his dream ‘of making the whole world resonate’. The first step towards realising this dream was to immerse himself in cultures whose traditions were as remote from the aesthetic history of the Western world as possible. His major works, including Symphonie du Jaguar, Passeurs d’eau, Outre-Mémoire, L’Oiseau innumerable and Orquoy, show his interest in tribal cultures and cults, ancient Chinese and Tibetan culture and even Greek mythology. The native North-American people – especially the Navajo and their healing rituals – are a strong source of inspiration in his most recent works Soleil rouge and Femme changeante cantate des Quatre Montagnes. To this day, Thierry is one of the very few composers who actually perform themselves.
Cardiz Gerretsen was born in 1984 in Groningen (Netherlands) and has been an active member of Thierry Pécou‘s Ensemble Variances since 2010. He was initially a pupil of Michel Lethiec in the Nice Conservatoire before being accepted in Lyon CNSM (Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique) in Jacques Di Donato’s class. In 2009, he won the third prize of the “Crusell” international clarinet competition. He was also awarded the third prize at the International Clarinet competition of Freiburg in Germany in 2012. His accolades over the years have often led to him playing as a soloist with orchestras like “i virtuosi di Kuhmo”, the Orchestre Régional de Cannes, the CIC chamber orchestra, the Paris Mozart Orchestra and the Orchestre de Chambre de la Nouvelle Europe amongst others.
Thierry Pécou‘s Ensemble Variances has collaborated with celebrated personalities, composers, performers and directors from around the world. They have performed at the French May Festival in Hong Kong, the Festival Internacional Cervantino (Mexico), the Cité de la Musique in Paris, the Présences de Radio France Festival, the Auditorium de Lyon, Arsenal de Metz, the “das neue Werk” Festival of Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) Hamburg, the Operas of Dijon, Saint-Etienne and Reims, Salle Bourgie in Montreal, Town Seattle Hall (USA), Bargemusic New York (USA). Their refreshing musical vision has been rewarded with a variety of awards and prizes: the Prix Villa-Médicis Hors les Murs, Grand Prix de Composition Musicale of the Fondation Simone et Cino del Duca, Academy award from l’Académie des Beaux-Arts, the prize for best new music premiere 2010 from the Syndicat de la Critique Théâtre, Musique et Danse (French Critics’ Circle) amongst others.
Rédaction, AF Magazine Inde-Népal