Ensemble intercontemporain - LES CRIS DE PARIS Concert

© Quentin Chevrier


25 € / 40 €
8 March 2024 – 8:30pm


This concert will be broadcast offline on medici.tv, FLV Play, and Radio Classique.

“Tragedy, ecstasy, doom”: three words uttered and interpreted by Mark Rothko that resonate profoundly with the world of Mozart. For the painter, Mozart was the musical alpha and omega, the central figure of his sonic references. Beyond the similarities in their life journeys (child prodigy, weighty father figure, touring Europe in youth), the founding concepts of their languages create their own dialogue: simplicity, power, expressiveness, “the simple expression of the complex thought,” as Rothko termed it. Certain musical figures have created a discourse with Rothko’s pictorial world in their work, such as Morton Feldman and his legendary Rothko Chapel, but also Rebecca Saunders with her piece Albescere for twelve instruments and five voices. Original music will round out the evening in the Rothko-rich work commissioned from Augustin Braud by the Ensemble Intercontemporain.

“I became a painter because I wanted to raise painting to the level of poignancy of music and poetry.”

Mark Rothko


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Adagio and Rondo for flute, oboe, viola, cello and harp K.617
Rebecca Saunders
Albescere for 12 instruments and 5 voices (2001)
Augustin Braud
Infigure - World premiere for solo violin, inspired by the work of Mark Rothko (Commissioned by the Ensemble Intercontemporain)
Morton Feldman
Rothko Chapel for choir, solo voices and 3 instruments (1971)

Les artistes

Ensemble intercontemporain

In 1976, Pierre Boulez founded the Ensemble Intercontemporain with the support of Michel Guy (then Minister of Culture) and the collaboration of Nicholas Snowman. The Ensemble’s 31 soloists share a passion for 20th and 21st century music. They are employed on permanent contract, enabling them to fulfil the major aims of the Ensemble: performance, creation and education.

Under the artistic direction of composer and conductor Matthias Pintscher, the musicians work in close collaboration with composers, exploring instrumental techniques and developing projects that interweave music, dance, theatre, film, video and visual arts.

 New pieces are commissioned and performed on a regular basis, expanding the Ensemble’s repertoire.

 In collaboration with IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique), the Ensemble Intercontemporain is also active in the field of synthetic sound generation.

 The Ensemble is internationally renowned for its strong emphasis on music education. This takes the form of concerts and training for young people, conductors and composers, as well as a diverse education outreach programme for the public.

 Since 2004, the Ensemble soloists have been tutoring young instrumentalists, conductors and composers from around the world at the Lucerne Festival Academy, an annual educational project lasting several weeks, held by the Lucerne Festival.

 A resident of the Philharmonie de Paris since it opened in January 2015 (after being a resident of the Cité de la Musique from 1995 to December 2014), the Ensemble performs and records in France and abroad, taking part in major festivals worldwide.

 The Ensemble is financed by the Ministry of Culture and Communication and receives additional support from the Paris City Council. For its new commissions, the Ensemble Intercontemporain benefits from the support of the Fondation Meyer.

Geoffroy Jourdain

Very early on, while studying musicology at the Sorbonne and researching the Italian musical collections of several European libraries, Geoffroy Jourdain became involved in directing vocal ensembles and, while still a student, founded Les Cris de Paris. The group swiftly gained recognition for the members’ bold artistic intent and investment in contemporary creation. Mr Jourdain is also deeply committed to the repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries and ethnomusicology.

Accompanied by artists from varied realms (theatre, dance, visual arts, video, etc.), he explores music’s role on the stage and the conventions of concert performance.

From 2002 to 2010, he co-directed Le Jeune Choeur de Paris with Laurence Equilbey and the Chœur de l’Orchestre de Paris with Didier Bouture. He has been dividing his professional time between his own company and accepted invitations to conduct other groups: the Cappella [T1] Amsterdam ensemble, the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Colombia of Bogotá, the Coro da Orquestra de São Paulo, and others. For the Académie de l’Opéra de Paris, he directed Orfeo ed Euridice then Iphigénie en Tauride by Gluck, as well as Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo. In collaboration with the Les Siècles orchestra, he conducted Israel in Egypt by Handel; with the Ensemble 2e2m, the opera Cachafaz by Oscar Strasnoy.

Mr Jourdain also cares deeply about training young performers and composers and regularly works with students conducting choirs at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Lyon. He directed the Academie eeemerging+ in Ambronay in 2021 and, that same year, founded the A・V・E・C (Ateliers Voix Et Composition, Voice And Composition Workshops) programme designed to nurture young creative talents.

Les Cris de Paris

Founded and directed by Geoffroy Jourdain, Les Cris de Paris is a company dedicated to vocal art, an ensemble that performs primarily the vocal and instrumental repertoire from the dawn of the 16th century to the present day.

The group’s artistic approach reflects the depth and breadth of the backgrounds of the artists taking part in their productions; they may number three or eighty and include composers, arrangers, actors, stage directors, instrumentalists, dancers, ensemble or choir directors, visual artists, sound designers, educators. Les Cris de Paris is a many-faceted entity: many forms, many repertoires, many approaches, all contributing to a cohesive, singular artistic project. The ensemble enjoys a national and international reputation, appearing in renowned concert venues and at prestigious festivals, and continues to expand its collaborations, both in France and across the Atlantic.

Most of the original creations punctuating the cultural seasons of Les Cris de Paris combine contemporary music with ancient music, modern music with Baroque and Romantic music.

The group’s critically acclaimed discography includes IT, devoted to the contemporary Italian music scene (NoMadMusic, 2017), Les Orphelines de Venise, featuring sacred works by Vivaldi (Ambronay Éditions, 2016), Memento Mori with music by Monteverdi and Rossi (Aparté, 2013), Schumann’s Missa Sacra (Aparté, 2013) and Le Paradis Perdu by Théodore Dubois (Aparté, 2012). With Melancholia, the group make its first appearance on the harmonia mundi label.

For all its activities, Les Cris de Paris is aided by the Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication - DRAC d’Île-de-France and by the City of Paris. It is supported by the Fondation Bettencourt Schueller and by Mécénat Musical Société Générale. Les Cris de Paris also receives annual support from Sacem and Musique Nouvelle en Liberté, and support for specific projects from the Fondation Orange, Onda, Spedidam, Adami, FCM and the Institut Français. It is a member of Futurs Composés, Fevis and Profedim. It is an “associate artist” of the Fondation Singer-Polignac.  

En partenariat avec Radio Classique, medici.tv et Mezzo