Montreal’s classical phenomenon, Duo Cordelia, is coming to Courtenay for one night only, Aug. 26 at the Old Church Theatre. Photo supplied

Montreal’s classical phenomenon, Duo Cordelia, is coming to Courtenay for one night only, Aug. 26 at the Old Church Theatre. Photo supplied

Courtenay’s Old Church Theatre expands its repertoire with classical concert

Montreal’s classical phenomenon, Duo Cordelia, coming to Courtenay

The Old Church Theatre is stretching out with its first classical concert on Friday, Aug. 26, when Montreal’s Duo Cordelia takes the stage..

The theatre is famous for its gorgeous sound and the concert will be unamplified so audience members can enjoy the unadorned piano and violin of this brilliant duo.

Formed in 2016, Duo Cordelia features violinist and composer Vanessa Marcoux and pianist Marie-Christine Poirier. The two musicians widen the framework of their respective instruments by ushering them into new territory. Duo’s mission is to expand the possibilities within the medium of the classical concert by introducing improvisation, an array of exciting repertoire from the 20th and 21st century, arrangements of traditional melodies and original compositions by Marcoux. This rich combination of classical repertoire and lesser-known works allows the listener to draw new bridges between musical universes that would otherwise be dissociated. The result is a touching and unique concert experience, which goes straight to the heart of the listener’s deep connection with music.

Duo Cordelia has received numerous grants from the Quebec and Canada Arts Councils, and is currently working on its first album, which will be released in 2023. Marcoux holds a bachelor’s degree in violin performance from McGill University (where she graduated with “Outstanding Achievement in Violin”) as well as a master’s degree in violin from the University of Montreal. She also perfected her training at the prestigious Conservatoire National Supérieur de Lyon (France). She then pursued a second bachelor’s degree at the University of Montreal to study instrumental composition with Ana Sokolovic. Throughout her studies as a violinist and composer, she has received numerous grants and awards, and is now performing regularly as a soloist and a chamber musician in an array of musical activities ranging from classical and contemporary music to world music, jazz and improvisation.

As a soloist, she has been heard with ensembles such as the McGill Chamber Orchestra (2014) and the Orchestre Métropolitain (2016). She has also toured extensively with the Juno-nominated Klezmer band Oktopus, and her improvisation skills have led her to work with many other renowned Montreal-based ensembles. She has performed worldwide, cumulating performances across North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Since the foundation of Duo Cordelia in 2016, she performs regularly across Canada with Poirier.

Vanessa plays on a beautiful violin by Carlo Giuseppe Testore 1712, and a violin bow by Louis Morizot (père), provided by Canimex corporation, from Drummondville, Quebec.

Marie-Christine holds a master’s degree in piano interpretation from Paul Stewart’s class at Université de Montréal and also holds a specialized superior diploma (DESS) in piano four hands/and two pianos from the same University with her colleague Amélie Fortin (Duo Fortin-Poirier). During her musical studies, Marie-Christine has taken many masterclasses here and abroad: Centre d’Arts Orford, Académie Internationale d’été Nice, Académie- Festival des Arcs France and with duo Bergmann Calgary.

“This is kind of a grand experiment to see if our audience wants to support classical music in the theatre,” says producer Doug Cox. “ I sure hope they do because it creates another much-needed venue for touring classical musicians to play and we get to enjoy the music! Also, Duo Cordelia consists of two young musicians who are very much modern artists. If you think you don’t like classical music I’d urge you to give it a shot. Their concert consists of both accessible music and more modern music compiled into a lovely mix and presented by two artists who have both feet in the modern world. What they do represents the wave of young players who bring modern acoustic music into everything they do. I can’t wait for the show!”

Tickets for the Aug. 26 show are available at

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