Ensemble Gilles Binchois


Since its creation in 1979, the Ensemble Gilles Binchois has striven to explore, cultivate, tame, sometimes reveal, and show off a whole period in the history of music that had not hitherto found its place in concert programmes, discographies, or even musical studies in conservatories. The Ensemble has not ceased to hone and refine its work on these repertoires, by approaching them in the light of the latest discoveries, leading to a better understanding of a musical notation that is often complex and imprecise. It takes possession of them, brings them to life. These four decades of familiarity with early repertoires have shaped interpretations and recordings that have continued over the years to be benchmarks for many teachers and musicologists in universities throughout the world. The Ensemble, which is considered to be “specialized”, regularly performs 8 centuries of music, ranging from Gregorian chant to Monteverdi. It is above all the Ensemble’s interactions and enthusiasms that determine its choices of this or that repertoire and which project it towards new paths. Could this be some sort of bulimic behaviour ? No, just a strong appetite for discovery, for shared musical pleasure, for making contemporary all the facets of our musical past. The Ensemble Gilles Binchois is supported by the Ministry of Culture (DRAC of Burgundy Franche-Comté), by the Regional Council of Burgundy France-Comté and the City of Dijon.

Dominique Vellard

The major areas explored by Dominique Vellard in his musical carreer are rooted in his childhood experiences -as a choirboy at Notre-Dame de Versailles- that gave rise to his passionate love of Gregorian chant, Renaissance polyphony, french composers of the seventeenth century and Bach organ music and chorales. Soon after completing his studies at the Versailles conservatory, Dominique Vellard decided to concentrate his work on medieval and  Renaissance  repertoires, fields in which he felt he was entirely free to express his musical aesthetics.
Alongside his “medieval carrer”, Dominique Vellard has kept up his involvement in other repertoires, exploring the fruitful possibilities of encounters between the earliest works in his repertoire and traditions as varied as North and south Indian Classic repertories, Breton Guerz and Spanish traditions. Dominique Vellard has made more than forty recordings, whether as soloist, conductor, or at the head of the Ensemble Gilles Binchois, which he has directed since 1979.
He has taught at the Schola Cantorum in Basel since 1982. He is also the Artistic director of the festival “Les Rencontres Internationales de Musique Médiévale du Thoronet”.
As a composer, he writes regularly, since 1999, for the Ensemble Gilles Binchois and for friends, mostly vocal music : A first CD of his vocal music“Vox nostra resonet” is edited by the record company GLOSSA.  

Joel Frederiksen – bass

Joel Frederiksen is active internationally as a concert artist, and he also sings opera and ora- torio –works by composers such as Monteverdi, Bach, Biber and Carissimi, but also Kurt Weil. Much sought-after for his fine bass voice, he has worked with many internationally recognised ensembles, including the Huelgas Ensemble, the Ensemble Gilles Binchois and Musica Fiata. For ten years or so he was a member of the Boston Camerata. Also a lutenist, he accompanies himself in the performance of lute songs. His original projects with his own group, Ensemble Phoenix Munich, The elfin knight, O felice morire, Rose of Sharon and, most recently, Requiem for a pink moon, are recorded by Harmonia Mundi.

François Roche – tenor

François Roche studied at the Massenet Conservatoire in Saint-Étienne, and in 1994 he won first prize at the Saint-Chamond French mélodie competition. He has been a member of the Solistes de Lyon (director Bernard Tétu) since 1996, and he works with many other ensembles, including Akadêmia, Les Eléments, Les Concerts de l'Hôtel-Dieu, the Ensemble Gilles Binchois, and Arsys Bourgogne (of which he is a permanent member). As a soloist he takes part in oratorio performances, especially works by Bach and other Baroque composers. As well as early music, he sings Mozart (Requiem and other choral works), Haydn and Schubert (masses), Mendelssohn (psalms), Rossini (Petite messe solennelle) and Puccini (Messa di gloria).

David Sagastume – countertenor

Born in 1972 in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, David Sagastume studied cello there at the Conservatorio Superior de Música Jesús Guridi with François Monciero, obtaining the Special Prize in his final examinations. At the same time he studied harpsichord, viola da gamba, chamber music and composition. He also worked with famous teachers including Sigfried Palm, Laurentius Sbarcia and José Luis Estellés. While playing with various youth orchestras, he began working as a countertenor with Isabel Álvarez and went on to study with Richard Levitt and Carlos Mena. He is now a member of La Capella Reial de Catalunya and Hespèrion XXI (Jordi Savall), but he also appears as a soloist with ensembles and orchestras all over Spain. He has taken part in many recordings, including Johannes de Antxieta’s Missa sine nomine, In festo corporis Christi by Juan Bautista Comes, Agenda defunctorum (Office of the Dead) by Juan Vàsquez, and Francisco Guerrero’s Missa Puer natus est. He has participated regularly in the activities of the Ensemble Gilles Binchois for the past fifteen years.

Cyprien Sadek - baritone

As a child Cyprien Sadek was a member of Les Petits Chanteurs Limousins, of which he later became musical director, from 2000 to 2009. He studied choral conducting with Ariel Alonso and medieval and Baroque singing in the classes of Dominique Vellard and Gerd Türk at the Schola Cantorum in Basel. In 2009 he was appointed musical director of the Maîtrise of Strasbourg Cathedral; he also conducts the youth choir Altitude, which he founded in 2009, and works with children's choirs in many parts of France, as well as singing professionally as a member of the Ensemble Gilles Binchois.

Bernard Fourtet – serpent

After studying trombone and musicology, Bernard Fourtet devoted himself to the sackbut and serpent and, in general, to the mediaeval, Renaissance and Baroque repertoires. In a self- taught way, he was one of the ‘rediscoverers’ of the serpent in the 1980s and collaborated with, amongst others, the ensembles La Fenice, Les Saqueboutiers, Gabrieli Consort, Gilles Binchois, the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, Hespérion XX, Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, A sei voci, Ohimè, Méandre, the Toulouse Serpent Trio... The founder of ADONIS and Facqoqcaf, he now teaches in numerous institutions.

Saori Sato – Organ

Following a cycle of studies in piano and com- position, supplemented by a masters degree in musical pedagogy from the university of her birthplace, Niigata (Japan), Saori Sato took up the organ. In 2003, she studied at the Toulouse Conservatory, obtaining a premier prix in 2005, as well as the prizes in sight.