Since it was founded by flautist Matthias Maute three decades ago, Ensemble Caprice has made its mark as one of the most sought-after ensembles on the classical music scene. Caprice has gained a solid reputation for its innovative programming and vibrant, compelling performances.
The musicians of Ensemble Caprice have travelled to the four corners of the globe, giving performances in dozens of countries on four continents. The Ensemble’s tours have taken its members to Asia, China, Taiwan, Africa, Morocco, Tunisia and South Africa as well as several European Countries and the Americas. It has been the featured guest ensemble in many prestigious festivals, including the Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music in London, festivals in Bruges (Belgium) and Utrecht (the Netherlands), the Felicia Blumental International Music Festival in Tel Aviv, and, in Germany, the Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci, the Early Music Days in Regensburg, the Händel-Festspiele in Halle, and the Stockstadt Festival. In the USA, the group has performed at New York City’s Miller Theater and Frick Collection, the Boston Early Music Festival, and the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. In Canada, the Ensemble has been heard in Ottawa at the Music and Beyond Festival and the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival; it has performed at Early Music Vancouver, Early Music Voices in Calgary, the Edmonton Chamber Music Society, the Elora Festival and the International Festival Domaine Forget. This impressive roadmap bears witness to the fact that Caprice is recognised as being one of today’s leading baroque ensembles. In 2009, the New York Times devoted a full article to the Ensemble, praising it as a progressive force on the contemporary musical scene.
Besides its international tours, the group performs a regular Montreal concert series in the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ Bourgie Hall.
Ensemble Caprice also has a flourishing recording career, with some twenty recordings on the Analecta, ATMA Classique and Antes labels, sold in nearly 50 countries. These recordings have received numerous critical distinctions, including the Canadian Recording Industry’s Prix Juno for Gloria! Vivaldi and his Angels, and four Prix Opus awards from the Music Council of Quebec including a “Performer of the Year” award and a “Concert of the Year” award for the Ensemble’s performances of Antonio Vivaldi’s Juditha Triumphans, Bach’s B Minor Mass (performed as part of the Montreal Bach Festival), and Le Faste de la France, given in collaboration with the Studio de Musique ancienne de Montréal. Caprice’s unique artistic approach has also been recognised by the Montreal Arts Council, which honoured it with the “Public’s Choice” award, and it was among the music finalists for the Grand Prix de Montréal. The ensemble has also received other important nominations from Germany’s Prix Echo Klassik, the Prix Opus committee, and the Association québécoise de l’Industrie du Disque. The prestigious magazine Gramophone included the Ensemble’s recording Telemann and the Baroque Gypsies on its list of recommended CD’s.
Recorder and Baroque Flute, Composer, Conductor
« With exuberant panache and jaw-dropping virtuosity by the amazing Matthias Maute, who is clearly poised to be early music’s breakout superstar. » Kansas City Star
Matthias Maute has carved out an impressive international reputation for himself not only as one of the great recorder and baroque flute virtuosos of his generation but also as a composer and conductor. Since winning first prize in the soloist category at the prestigious Bruges Early Music Competition in 1990, he has led a highly successful career as a recorder and baroque flute soloist. He made his debut in New York’s Lincoln Center in 2008 and has twice been the featured soloist for the Boston Early Music Festival. He records and tours extensively. The Washington Post hailed him as one of the greatest recorder players on the North American musical scene. Since 25 years, Matthias concertizes as member of the New York based ensemble REBEL in North America and Europe. He has been invited to perform as guest soloist or conductor by the world’s most eminent baroque orchestras, including: Seattle Baroque, the Portland Baroque Orchestra, the Cleveland Baroque Orchestra, “Apollo’s Fire” and the Magnificat Baroque Ensemble. In recent years he has also been invited to conduct other renowned orchestras, including I Musici de Montreal and Symphony of Nova Scotia. Matthias Maute is also celebrated for his work as artistic director and conductor of Ensemble Caprice.
In this capacity he is known for creating and leading ingenious and captivatingly original programmes. He tours extensively with the ensemble, being regularly invited to take part in prestigious festivals around the globe. In Canada, the group can be heard at the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, the Festival international du Domaine Forget, Early Music Vancouver, Early Music Voices in Calgary and the Elora Festival in Ontario. Under his direction, Ensemble Caprice was granted an esteemed JUNO award in 2009 for best vocal/choral classical music album of the year (for its CD Gloria! Vivaldi and his Angels on the Analekta label). Matthias Maute’s compositions are highly regarded and have been published by Breitkopf & Härtel, Amadeus, Moeck, and Carus. He has some thirty recordings to his credit on the Analekta, Vanguard Clasics, Bella Musica, Dorian, Bridge and ATMA Classique labels. Matthias Maute teaches at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music and at the Faculty of Music of the Université de Montréal.
Recorder and Baroque Flute
« The flutes and recorders of Sophie Larivière were an absolute delight. » New York Times
Sophie Larivière has been a member and co-artistic director of Ensemble Caprice since 1997. In this capacity, she has been instrumental in developing the unique and innovative identity of this ensemble which provides concert goers with an exciting blend of virtuosity and musical expressiveness. As a member of Caprice, she has played in numerous concerts in Canada, the Middle East, Europe and the USA. Among these performance venues, the following are of particular note: The Mediterranean Arts Festival in Tel Aviv, the Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music in London, the Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci near Berlin, as well as concerts in Stuttgart, at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., in Los Angeles, at New York’s Frick Collection and Miller Theater, in Chicago, and at the Boston Early Music Festival. Much appreciated for the flowing, expressive beauty of her playing, Sophie Larivière is regularly invited to perform with many early music ensembles. She has played with Arion Orchestre Baroque, l’Opéra de Montréal, the Studio de Musique ancienne de Montréal, the Theater of Early Music, REBEL from New York, the Violons du Roy in Quebec City, New York’s Trinity Choir as well as the Concert Spirituel in Paris.
She has performed under the baton of noted conductors Andrew Parrot, Bernard Labadie, Christopher Jackson, Julian Armour and Hervé Niquet. Sophie Larivière has taken part in some thirty recording projects for the Analekta, Virgin Classics, Atma Classique, Antes Edition and Interdisc labels. She is a devoted teacher, and for decades has been transmitting her passion for music to a younger generation of performers as well as to amateur musicians in music camps and workshops. She currently teaches at Cégep St-Laurent in Montreal.