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Ensemble Zellig

Since its inception in 1999,  Ensemble Zellig has focused on innovation and experimentation. Like Woody Allen's film chamelion, Zellig, the flexibly-sized ensemble is fully at ease travelling through time and musical styles. 

Initially founded by performers Silvia Lenzi and Etienne Lamaison along with composers Thierry Pécou and Gualtiero Dazzi, the ensemble brings together well-known soloists and enthusiastic chamber musicians with a taste for musical experimentation and boundary crossing performances.  

Diverse artistic encounters with guest performers regularly cross-fertilize Zellig’s programs, primarily with the stage director Ivan Morane, but also with pianists Alexandre Tharaud and David Greilsammer, oboist François Leleux, choreographer Karine Saporta, poet Paul de Brancion and visual artist Jean-François Boclé among others.

Zellig is devoted to promoting intercultural exchange as well, traveling the world through the imagination of the many composers it on its programs. The Ensemble has played - often premiering - works by Thierry Pécou, Philippe Leroux and Philippe Hersant (France), Edmund Campion, Don Freund and Gerald Shapiro (USA), José Manuel Lopez (Spain), Robert Rosen (Canada), Gabriela Ortiz (Mexico), and Atsuhiko Gondaï and Akiko Murakami (Japan). Oscar Strasnoy, Philippe Hersant, Frédéric Pattar and Jacques Rebotier will be composers in residence with Zellig at various times between 2011 and 2013.

The ensemble regularly appears in France’s major festival and venues, including Radio-France, Auditorium du Louvre, GMEM in Marseille, Les 38eme Rugissants in Grenoble, and has toured to Portugal, Spain, Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia and the United States.

Starting in 2009, after a long-term partnership with composer Thierry Pécou, Ensemble Zellig began an ambitious program of commissions and residencies for composers. In 2010 the they will premier works by E. Campion, D. Freund, G. Shapiro and Philippe Hersant. In 2011 Oscar Strasnoy will join the ensemble as Composer in Residence. In 2012, commissions will include a new work for ensemble and music students by Frédéric Pattar, and a  composition for ensemble and speaker by Jacques Rebotier.

Ensemble Zellig is a registered French charity and is thankful for its core funding from:

  • The City of Paris
  • The Ile-de-France DRAC
  • The Val de Marne General Council
  • Spédidam
  • Sacem

This project and the premières benefit from the support of:

  • The French-American fund for contemporary music, a program of FACE with major support from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Sacem, CulturesFrance and the Florence Gould Foundation
  • FCM
  • Mécénat Musical Sociéte Générale
  • Spédidam, a society licencing and distributing performing artists'royalties for recording, public performances and utilisation of recordings

The ensemble is a member of the FEVIS and Futurs Composés networks.

© Photo of Ensemble Zellig by Christophe Alary