Montreal’s cutting-edge classical string band, collectif9, has been gathering steam since its 2011 debut, attracting diverse audiences in varied spaces. Known for energized, innovative arrangements of classical repertoire, from Brahms and Mahler to Bartok and Gabriel Prokofiev, collectif9 employs lights, staging, and amplification more commonly seen at rock shows. In over 150 concerts from China to Norway, from L.A. to the Banff Centre, from Montreal to Mexico, collectif9 heralds a new age in genre-bending classical performance.
Described by critics as “dazzling” with “great brio and vitality”, the ensemble’s debut album Volksmobiles was released in 2016. Their second album, No Time for Chamber Music, with music by and inspired by Mahler, was released in 2018.
*Representation shared with Jonathan Wentworth Associates Ltd in the USA
Programmes and projects
collectif9 is proud to present The Night of the Flying Horses, a programme of music that has enchanted and energized us for centuries. Centered around the music of Osvaldo Golijov, an Argentinian contemporary composer with international roots, The Night of the Flying Horses explores moments of wonder and melancholy, interspersed with frenetic, electrifying cavalcades of sound. With works spanning over five centuries, this show features music inspired by the Gypsy musicians of more than 500 years ago (known to us through the Romanian band Taraf de Haidouks), the Baroque extravagance of François Couperin, and classical music from the 21st century.
collectif9 presents Rituals, a new show that is built to be performed in churches - spaces that are central in
communities, that impose their own tradition and beauty, that are often very reverberant. Rituals exploits the
acoustic and architectural qualities of the church - instead of building a set on a stage, we have created an artistic experience for the existing set. The concert space is more than just a venue, but part of the musical inspiration. The concert itself can be seen as an overarching artistic ceremony with the potential to bring together people of different communities and beliefs. Rituals is an acoustic concert with lighting, scenography and staging that maximizes the dramatic effects of the space, and the musicians perform from many locations rather from a single stage.
collectif9 presents Heroes, a reflection on our attachment to significant composers of the past – in this instance, Beethoven – and their ability to continue to live through the passage of time, affecting our ears, our
musical tastes and programming, and our impressions of what art music is, even today. The glorification of these composers, now considered heroes, generates several questions. Do we consider the past to be “perfection”? How does this preoccupation with impactful music from 300, 200, 100 years ago affect creation today?
“What strikes with collectif9, is the attitude. We see it in their photos, we see it when they are on stage, we hear it in their way of playing: they take in hand the future of classical music by giving it a serious youth cure.”
— Frédéric Cardin,
“They perform them with an infectious energy and vigour that grabs an audience’s attention.”
— Paul Ennis,
“Known for pushing the boundaries in their music, Montréal-based classical string band collectif9 is forging into uncharted territory with the release of their debut album.”
— Kiersten van Vliet,
collectif9, in collaboration with Architek Percussion, present My Backyard, Somewhere, a reflection of our malleable sense of belonging in a vast country. Inspired by the text of poet Kaie Kellough, this project explores boundaries, location, and sense of belonging of people: our displaced sense of home, travelling to and from places that have home-like meaning to us, and the elements of communication - interpretation and misinterpretation - between people and places.
collectif9 collaborates with the Winnipeg-based group Yes We Mystic on their album Ten Seated Figures. They also performed together in Montreal and Winnipeg, offering a unique genre-bending concert experience.
No Time for Chamber Music is as ironic as its title: exploring extreme dualities, this programme satirically magnifies the play between lighthearted joy and inconsolable despair - the unregulated emotions we feel in our most vulnerable, most child-like, states. With glimmering folk dances and allusions to the stillness of nature, collectif9 delves into rich and complex musical textures that are more intimate, yet at the same time psychologically global.