McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble

  • Performer

The McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble was created in September 1970 and has been directed successively by Richard Lawton, Eugene Plawutsky and Bruce Mather. Since 1996 composer and conductor Denys Bouliane has been its music director. The CME is made up of a flexible group of about forty young musicians who give five concerts a year; it is dedicated to the musical repertoire of the past hundred years and pays a special attention to the performance of new music. The ensemble performs every year 10 to 15 new works by young composers at McGill (more than 80 premieres since 1996). The CME works in close collaboration with the Composition and Performance Areas; it is an indispensable laboratory for the training of young composers and performers, fostering the closest communication possible. During the past few years, the CME has rapidly become one of the most dynamic student ensembles in Canada. It has given distinguished performances of such works as the Chamber Symphony op. 9 and Pierrot Lunaire by Schönberg (with soprano Ingrid Schmithüsen), the concertos for piano and violin by Ligeti (with Marc Couroux, pianist and Jonathan Crow, violinist), the Chamber Concerto op. 8 by Berg (with pianist Brigitte Poulin and violinist Clemens Merkel), the Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen by Mahler (in Schönberg’s chamber version with mezzo-soprano Michèle Losier), as well as works by Janácek, Stravinsky, Ives, Antheil, Mossolov, Copland, Barber, Varèse, Scelsi, Berio, Ustvolskaya, Messiaen, Carter, Feldman, Crumb, Takemitsu, Xenakis, Kagel, Kancheli, Denissov, Andriessen, Reich, Grisey, Vivier, Adams, N.A. Huber, Lindberg, Höller and Raskatov.