The intrepid and dedicated members of Ensemble Paramirabo come together as a single voice to perform contemporary music, showcase emerging Canadian composers, and expand the boundaries of the traditional concert experience. As a creator of innovative events, the group provides young composers with a venue for refining their trademark within Montreal’s vibrant new music scene and act as a springboard for exposure abroad. The ensemble’s flutist, Jeffrey Stonehouse, has been the group’s artistic director since its founding.
Taking its name from the piece Paramirabo, by Montreal composer Claude Vivier, Ensemble Paramirabo’s roots date back to 2008 at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal. Since its foundation, the ensemble has toured internationally to Belgium, England and Mexico and has been invited to Domaine Forget (2017 and 2019), Festival LOOP and Ars Musica (Mons, Liège and Bruxelle, 2019), Waterloo Region Contemporary Music Sessions (2018), Frontiers Festival (Birmingham, 2016), Eduardo Mata Festival (Oaxaca, 2016), New York’s Mise-En Festival (2014), Winnipeg’s Cluster New Music Festival and Montreal Contemporary Music Lab (2013). In June 2020, Paramirabo will again be ensemble-in-residence for the Domaine Forget International Music and Dance Academy’s Composition Session.
A proud ambassador of local contemporary music, the ensemble is the winner of the OPUS Prize 23rd edition - Performer of the year and is nominated for the JUNO 2020 Prize, Classic album of the year - solo or chamber music for his album Alone and Unalone, in partnership with the composer James O'Callaghan. His repertoire has more than 80 premieres and commissions to its credit. Its recordings, both live and studio, have garnered numerous awards for composers such as Gabriel Dharmoo (À chaque ventre son monstre OPUS Prize 22nd edition - Premiere of the year), James O’Callaghan (AMONG AM A; Salvatore Martirano Award 2016, 1st prize); Julien Robert (Flash Point: 1st prize at the 2013 Sond’Ar-te Electric Ensemble Competition and 3rd place in the Serge Garant category of the 2014 SOCAN Foundation Awards); Scott Rubin (The Torn Cubist: 2nd prize at the 2013–2014 OSSIA New Music Composition Prize); and Matthew Ricketts (Graffiti Songs: 1st place in the Serge Garant category of the 2011 SOCAN Foundation Awards). The ensemble has been presented by a number of organizations, including ECM+, SCMQ, CMCQ, Groupe Le Vivier, the Music Gallery: Emergents Series, Groupe Le Vivier, Forum des compositeurs, the SMCQ, Erreur de type 27, Innovations en concert, the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, the Centre d'expérimentation musicale and Codes d’accès.
Over the years, the group’s efforts have been noted by a number of journalists and music critics. Crystal Chan mentioned the ensemble in a March 2012 Scena Musicale article entitled “Yin/Yang, Montreal’s Musical Entrepreneurs.” The website Bachtrack describes the group as demonstrating “total fearlessness” and “a rare gem … born solely of creative inspiration, [whose] evolution as an up-and-coming musical force is not to be missed.”
Ensemble Paramirabo wishes to thank its loyal partners, along with the SOCAN Foundation, the Conseil des arts de Montréal, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Canada Council for the Arts for their generous support.