Ensemble contemporain de Montréal
ECM+ (the Ensemble contemporain de Montréal) was founded in 1987 by conductor Véronique LACROIX, who remains its artistic director. The group's mandate is to stimulate Québec and Canadian musical creation, disseminate it as widely as possible, and serve as a springboard for young composers and performers. The ECM+ is recognized as one of Canada's most dynamic contemporary music ensembles.
The Ensemble contemporain de Montréal first appeared as a chamber orchestra that was flexible in size, made up of about fifteen core musicians. Through the years, particularly since 1999, the organization expanded its field of activity, notably by adding large-scale multidisciplinary events focused on musical creation to its programming. In order to highlight this development, the ECM became the ECM+ in 2008.
Since its formation, the ECM+ has presented more than 200 commissioned works, for the most part by Canadian composers. In doing so, the organization has contributed to the emergence of a new generation of composers whose works have subsequently been disseminated nationally and internationally. Although its regular concert season takes place in Montréal, the ensemble has undertaken several regional and national tours and participated in international exchanges that have taken it to such places as Barcelona (1993), Kiev (1999), Singapore (2002), Lyon (2002), London (2003), Mexico (2004) and Bordeaux (2010). The ECM+ has participated in the Festival international de musique actuelle de Victoriaville (1994), Massey Hall's New Music Festival (Toronto, 2000), the Festival musique au present (Québec, 2000), Montréal's New Music Festivals (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009) and the International Cervantino Festival (Mexico, 2009).
Each ECM+ season ends with a large-scale thematic concert, in which the ECM+ is transformed into a bigger ensemble frequently joined by renowned soloists and artists from various disciplines. The objective of these events is to contribute to revitalizing the traditional concert format while addressing the widest possible audiences. Another important recurring event is the Génération project. Since 1994, four young Canadian composers have been chosen periodically through a competition held every two years, and they participate in live composition workshops with ECM+ musicians, before composing a new work for the ensemble. Each time, the project is spread out over a two-year cycle, enabling the composer to develop his research in depth. Since 2000, the Génération project has ended with a biennial Canadian tour during which the four new works are presented. The Génération project tours have been acclaimed by critics, who on many occasions have acknowledged the undeniable contributions of Véronique Lacroix and the Ensemble contemporain de Montréal to Canadian music.
The activities of the ECM+ are divided into four series. The main one, ECM+Live, groups together concerts presenting the ECM+ musicians directed by Véronique Lacroix. ECM+Présente opens the stage to soloists or guest chamber ensembles whose repertoires feature Canadian musical creations. The series ECM+Débuts presents young virtuosi at the very beginning of their careers playing contemporary repertoire. ECM+àl'école unites the organization's productions for youth, always co-produced with le Moulin à Musique and dedicated to musical theatre for young audiences. Furthermore, the ECM+ collaborates with various dance companies and has some operatic productions to its credit.
The ECM+ has made recordings for SNE, Port-Royal, Phonovox, Atma, Oxingale and Centredisques. They have also received several awards including the Prix Opus for Musical Event of the Year for the thematic concert Cage en liberté (2002), the Grand Prix from the Montréal Arts Council (2003), and a Juno for Par-ci, Par-là, composed by Ka Nin CHAN and recorded on the CD Nouveaux Territoires 01 (2000).
Fin de siècle, nouvelle musique montréalaise, SNE, 1994, SNE-590-CD
Mozart-Gonneville, Port-Royal, 1996, PR2207-2
Cantate de la fin du jour, Fonovox, 1996, VOX 7824-2
Al-Hamra, Atma, 1997, ACD 22146
Nouveaux Territoires 01, Atma, 2000, ACD 22229
Nouveaux Territoires 02, Atma, 2003, ACD 22208
Ana Sokolovic: Jeu des portraits, Centredisques/SRC, 2006, CMCCD 11406
Après Moi, Le Déluge, Oxingale Records, 2006, OX 2006
Nouveaux Territoires 03, Atma, 2009, ACD 22582