Back to All Events

Classical Coffee Concert with clarinettist François Houle

  • Port Theatre 125 Front Street Nanaimo, BC, V9R 0B5 Canada (map)

Sarah is thrilled to host this series at the Port Theatre of conceptually innovative chamber music performances where she collaborates with special guests: Ariel Barnes (cello), François Houle (clarinet), Anne Grimm (soprano), Søren Bebe (jazz piano), Ann Elliott-Goldschmid (violin), plus a solo performance in October. Join us for coffee, treats, and a wonderful start to your morning.

This concert features clarinettist François Houle in a programme of Schumann, Poulenc, and Brahms.


About François

Clarinetist François Houle has established himself as one of today’s most inventive musicians, in all of the diverse musical spheres he embraces: classical, jazz, new music, improvised music, and world music. Whether he’s performing works by Mozart or Messiaen, appearing as a featured soloist with orchestra, or improvising and embracing live, interactive electronics, François demystifies music for audiences everywhere. Inspired by collaborations with the world’s top musical innovators, François has developed a unique improvisational language, virtuosic and rich with sonic embellishment and technical extensions. A sought after soloist and chamber musician, he has actively expanded the clarinet’s repertoire by commissioning some of today’s leading Canadian and international composers and premiering over one hundred new works. He has collaborated with leading ensembles in Canada, including ECM+, Turning Point Ensemble, Standing Wave, Bozzini Quartet, Fibonacci Trio, among others. He has been listed by Downbeat magazine as a “Talent Deserving Wider Recognition” and has been hailed as a “Rising Star” in Downbeat’s Readers and Critics’ Polls.

His extensive touring has led to solo appearances at major festivals across Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia. A prolific recording artist, he has released over twenty recordings as a leader, earning multiple Juno Award and West Coast Music Award nominations. Sea and Sky, his long standing duo with pianist Jane Hayes, has recorded two CDs, one of which is the first release on his own label, Afterday Audio. In 2006, François was the featured soloist in Lutosławski’s Dance Preludes with the CBC Radio Orchestra, a performance hailed by the Los Angeles Times. In 2007, he composed and premiered a concerto for clarinet which he went on to record with the Turning Point Ensemble for a 2009 world wide release on the TMA Classique label.

François studied at McGill University, went on to win the National Debut competition, and completed his studies at Yale University. He has been an artist-in-residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts and at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbria, Italy, and was a featured soloist in the International Clarinet Association’s 2007 and 2008 ClarinetFests. He is a faculty member at the Vancouver Community College School of Music, graduate clarinet studio instructor at the University of British Columbia, and was Artistic Director of the Vancouver Creative Music Institute for five years. In 2008 he was appointed as “Associate Composer” of the Canadian Music Centre.