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Ensemble Connect in Paris

In December, seven Ensemble Connect fellows traveled to Paris for a week-long residency in partnership with the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations. There they performed with soprano Natalie Dessay and members of Ensemble intercontemporain, and gave interactive performances at local Paris schools. Here are some of the highlights in the fellows’ own words.


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A personal highlight of the Rothschild residency was our collaboration with truly remarkable French musicians. The ravishingly unique sensibility and expression of Natalie Dessay’s interpretations made her a revelation to perform alongside and proved a master class in style.

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Our opportunity to perform and rehearse for a longer period with Jean-Christophe and Philippe from Ensemble intercontemporain left us with not just two inspiring musical models, but equally two models for the kinds of people and professional chamber musicians that we would all strive to be.

—Lee Dionne, piano

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The experiences of adventuring through Paris in the evenings, collaborating with members of Ensemble intercontemporain, interacting with dozens of wonderful French elementary schools children, and enjoying the beauty of the culture, architecture, and cuisine that is inherent in a trip to Paris—these could deem paragraphs in themselves.

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However, I think the most memorable night was Monday, our performance at the Philharmonie for the Rothschild Foundations. From the beautifully designed invitations and programs, the wonderful acoustics, and the beautiful set up of the hall (perfect for an evening of Fauré and Debussy) to the warmth of the audience and the following reception (with its memorable truffle cheese cart), every detail was carried out meticulously and worked together to create an overall unforgettable experience of performing in Paris.

—Julia Yang, cello

Ensemble Connect Paris Residency
Rosie Gallagher and Brandon Ilaw lead an interactive performance.

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It was a true privilege to be a part of the Paris residency team. A highlight of the trip was a school visit that I embarked upon with Brandon Ilaw. I was both inspired and touched by the enthusiasm and collaborative spirit that we were met with from our French partner-teacher Guillaume, as we joined together to host an interactive performance for a class of fourth graders. It was a wonderful experience to bridge a cultural and language barrier through the exploration of musical expression and education.

—Rosie Gallagher, flute