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La Nef Ensemble

La Nef Ensemble

The musical production ensemble La Nef, founded in 1991 by Sylvain Bergeron, Claire Gignac, and Viviane LeBlanc, seeks to bring Early Music to audiences of all ages through the use of innovative, poetic, and dramatic performance techniques.



La Nef's musical repertoire spans the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and also embraces various Mediterranean oral traditions. The ensemble's unique sound is the result of the artistic interaction between the twenty-strong core group of performers, each of which comes from a different musical background (early, classical, and world music).


One distinguishing characteristic of the ensemble's creative process is the inclusion of a dramatic element in its shows. The addition of theatrical elements in the group's performances enhances the full range of emotional expression and depth found in historical music. Rather than focusing on authentic performance practices, La Nef instead approaches early music performance in an open and flexible manner. The ensemble readily draws from other disciplines such as literature and painting to create moving but cogent musical depictions.

La Nef has made over 500 appearances to date, often in prestigious venues throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia and has received rave reviews from audiences and critics alike. The ensemble has also been involved in a number of festivals worldwide: Hokutopia International Music Festival (Tokyo), Early Music Now (Milwaukee), Festival Internacional Cervantino (Mexico), Festival de Flandres (Bruxelles), Festival de Musica El Hatillo (Caracas).