One of a kind chamber music group, The Montréal ondes Martenot Ensemble has for mandate to perform music originally composed for the ondes Martenot introducing this beautiful and rarely heard instrument that is the ondes Martenot to new audiences. Founded in 1976, at the Montreal Conservatory of Music by Jean Laurendeau, the Montreal ondes Martenot Ensemble continues today mostly as an ondes Martenot trio with the following musicians, Marie Bernard, Suzanne Binet-Audet and Geneviève Grenier, each of these ondists also being soloists themselves and all working to preserve the Martenot heritage in Canada through the Society for Development of the ondes Martenot.
The “Ensemble d’ondes” does not only present ondes Martenot trios, quartets, quintets or sextets but also programs and commissionned works for a wide variety of instrumentations, always including at least one ondes. The Ensemble has premiered numerous new works from Canadian composers among which, Raynald Arseneault, Walter Boudreau, Richard G. Boucher, Brian Cherney, Micheline-Coulombe Saint-Marcoux, José Evangelista, Michel Gonneville, Jean Lesage, Michel Longtin, Bruce Mather, André Prévost, Serge Provost, Petros Shoujounian. In addition to these commissions the Ensemble also plays the existing repertoire written for ondes Martenot quartet like Charpentier, Messiaen, Murail, Wyshnegradsky’s music and realizes transcriptions from the classical repertoire, for example works by Bach, Ravel or Barber. Recently, the quartet has been working towards developing an improvisation section that is now integrated to their concerts.
In the wake of success of Caroline Martel’s “Wavemakers” movie (Le Chant des ondes (2012) The Ensemble d’ondes Martenot de Montreal was invited to perform a unique feature concert with the accompaniment of such brilliant musicians as Marie-Jo Thériault, Radwan Gazi Moumneh, and Patrick Waston
The Montreal ondes Martenot Ensemble has signed a few recordings with the Société Radio-Canada/CBC, SNE (defunct) and ATMA record labels. Teh record “La fête des belles eaux” (ATMA 1998) was nominiated for the Quebec record industry Gala (ADISQ) of 2009.
The ensemble was involved in the organization of the Festival d’ondes Martenot de Montréal of 1998 ans 1999 and has performed in several locations across Canada, the United States and Europe.