Constantinople

Ensembles and Chamber Orchestras   Vocal   World music  

Constantinople is a musical ensemble that chose the journey—geographical certainly, but also historical, cultural and inner—as its cornerstone. It draws inspiration from all sources and aims for distant horizons. Inspired by the ancient city illuminating the East and West, Constantinople...

Constantinople is a musical ensemble that chose the journey—geographical certainly, but also historical, cultural and inner—as its cornerstone. It draws inspiration from all sources and aims for distant horizons. Inspired by the ancient city illuminating the East and West, Constantinople was founded in 1998 in Montréal by its artistic director, Kiya Tabassian.

Since its founding, the ensemble promotes the creation of new works incorporating musical elements of diverse musical traditions around the world, drawing from medieval manuscripts to a contemporary aesthetic, passing by Mediterranean Europe to Eastern traditions and New World Baroque. Underpinned by a spirit of research and creation, Constantinople has joined forces with leading international artists such as singers Marco Beasley, Françoise Atlan, Savina Yannatou and Suzie Le Blanc; the Mandingo griot Ablaye Cissoko; the Greek ensemble En Chordais, the Belgian duo Belem and the American group The Klezmatics; sarangi virtuoso Dhruba Ghosh, Syrian clarinettist and composer Kinan Azmeh, and Iranian kamancheh master Kayhan Kalhor.

Regularly invited to perform in international festivals and prestigious concert halls, such as the Salle Pleyel in Paris, the Berliner Philharmonie, the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music in Morocco, the Rencontres musicales de Conques in France, the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, the Cervantino Festival in Mexico, the Festival de Carthage in Tunisia, the Onassis Cultural Centre-Athens and the BOZAR in Brussels, Constantinople is acclaimed by the public, music professionals and critics alike. The ensemble has 17 albums to its credit on labels Analekta, Atma, World Village, Buda Musique and MaCase. Over the course of the decade, Constantinople has created nearly 40 works and travelled to more than 140 cities in 30 countries.

© Federico Cavicchioli

Projects

Traversées

Itinerant Gardens

Reviews

The kora and setar sit perfectly well together, each played with great virtuosity and without unnecessary ostentation. The alternating voices are a breath of fresh air and contrast beautifully: Cissoko mellow and Tabassian spiritual. A disc of regal and dignified magnificence.

— Songlines Magazine (United Kingdom)

It is a performance as stirring to the mind as the intrinsic sounds of the setar are to the heart.

— The Chronicle Herald

Très intense, très profond, très vrai, une soirée quasi miraculeuse… De retour chez moi, il m’était impossible de dormir : au plafond de bonheur. Vraiment, ça fait longtemps que je n’ai pas ressenti cela dans un spectacle.

— Chantal Jolis, Radio-Canada (Montreal)

Videos

Traversées

Jardins migrateurs

Photos

© Federico Cavicchioli
© Michael Slobodian

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