One of the most distinctive and talented violinist of her generation, Agnès Pyka has dedicated most of her life to chamber music. After studying in France and abroad with the greatest masters (Franco Gulli, Mariana Sirbu, Stefano Carminoglia, Ferenc Rados, Lorand Fenyves…), she created the flexibly sized ensemble and creative laboratory “Des Equilibres” in 2006. She then collaborated with the greatest names in music, notably for the Marseille 2013 opening with Fazil Say around Turkish art music, the recording of Bartok duets with Jan Talich and the creation of “Still Point” with Ray Lema, a quintet with piano. Always keen to explore present-day repertoires, Agnès has worked with many contemporary composers, as in the creation of “Mukae” with François Rossé and traditional dancer No Shiro Daimon, or the development of the educational project “String Games” around Graciane Finizi’s music. She recently commissioned works revolving around Brahms’ sonatas from composers Nicolas Bacri, Philippe Hersant and Graciane Finzi, to be composed during a residency at the Ferme du Buisson in November 2018. Des Équilibres also opened the way to new horizons for Agnès: a collaboration with Thierry De Mey and his sister Michèle Anne De Mey as part of a choregraphed show, a collaboration with Algerian oud player Nour Eddine Saoudi and his musicians, a performance at the Angkor Vat Temple alongside the National Ballet of Cambodia… Agnès has consistently increased the scope of possibilities for classical music over the course of her encounters and her numerous tours abroad (Poland, Switzerland, Canada, Russia, Turkey, Malta, Myanmar, Cambodia, Israel, Albania, Italy, Spain…). Her discography has been largely acclaimed by national and international critics: «Quartets and trios” by Sándor Veress (4 **** Classica), “44 duets” by Bartok on Indesens Records, “Navy Strings”: string trios by Cras, Roussel and Bonnal on Arion record label as well as the first part of a Weinberg Sonatas album to be released in May 2018 by Arion.
After studying the violin and chamber music at the Music Academies of Boulogne-Billancourt and Rueil- Malmaison (CNR), Marie ORENGA entered Marie-Annick Nicolas’s class at the Geneva Haute Ecole de Musique. She graduated in Interpretation & Pedagogy and to this day continues her educational work in France and Switzerland. She performs regularly with chamber music ensembles and symphony orchestras on an international level, as well as soloist with numerous orchestras. Marie has been a permanent member of the ‘Des Equilibres’ Ensemble since 2011.
blandine leydier quincarletviola
Blandine LEYDIER QUINCARLET studied the viola with Gérard Causse and Nicolas Bone at the Paris Conservatory (CNSM) before enrolling at the Celibidache Academy. She performed as solo viola in the Orchestre des Régions Européennes for three years and worked under the direction of the talented E.Krivine, L.Fleisher, Y.Talich, D.Robertson, B.Kuijken and M.Corboz. Currently teaching at the CNRR of Toulon, Blandine continues to perform with various chamber music ensembles, including the Garance quartet and the ‘Des Equilibres’ Ensemble.
Hélène DESAINT successively studied the viola at the Paris Conservatory (CNR), the Gennevilliers National School of Music and the Conservatory of Lyon (CNSMD) before graduating as a soloist at the Geneva Conservatory. She now performs internationally with chamber music ensembles, orchestras, and as a soloist. Hélène is a member of the Finzi Quartet of London and founded the Zerlina ensemble in 2011. Whilst maintaining her study of classical music, she is keen to champion a more contemporary and modern repertoire.
Armance QUERO studied the cello at the Paris Conservatory (CNSM) where she unanimously won first prize. After following the teaching of Miklos Perényi at the Liszt Academy of Budapest, she finally enters the Classe d’Excellence of Gautier Capuçon at the Vuitton Foundation (2015-16), distinguishing herself in many international competitions. Passionate about chamber music and contemporary, Armance has performed in numerous venues including the Salle Pleyel with the Tosca Quartet, the US Foundation in Paris, Maintenon castle or even the Salle Cortot.
Guillaume LAFEUILLE started his musical studies at the Lille Conservatory (CRR) before enrolling at the CNSM of Lyon, obtaining first prize in cello. Passionate about chamber music, he also teaches cello and plays with numerous ensembles including the Satie Quartet. Guillaume has performed in many prestigious venues both internationally and in France including the Operas of Lyon, Lille, & Strasbourg, the Musée d’Orsay or the Salle Cortot alongside some of the most famous names in Classical Music.
Laurent WAGSCHAL is the bearer of many international awards. As one of the most brilliant and creative pianists of his generation, he has distinguished himself in the last few years by his commitment to promote French repertoire and many unfairly overlooked composers. He regularly performs at some of the most prestigious venues of Paris including Théâtre du Châtelet, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Théâtre Mogador, Musée d’Orsay, Radio France, as well as in festivals, abroad, or as a soloist with orchestra. His critically acclaimed discography includes over twenty recordings.
Alain GENG studied at the CM of Mulhouse where he obtained first prize in 1985 before working with Guy Dangain and enrolling at the CNSM of Lyon followed by the Paris Conservatory in the class of Jean-Noel Crocq. After performing with numerous French and international orchestras (Bales, Moscow, Mulhouse & Montpellier Orchestras amongst others), he is appointed principal clarinetist of the Marseille Philharmonic Orchestra. Alain also teaches at the Marseille CNRR and participates in many festivals.
Marc BADIN studied music in Nîmes, Marseille, and Paris (CNSM), winning first prize in many competitions before perfecting his skills with the talented Alain Denis. A qualified oboe teacher at the Conservatory of Toulon (CNRR), he is also the founder of the PHASE society advocating for the promotion of oboe and its teaching. A concert soloist, Alain currently plays first solo English horn at the Marseille Philharmonic Orchestra and regularly plays the oboe with the Muzicatreize ensemble. His discography already includes a couple of recordings.
Nora LAMOUREUX started learning the harp at the Conservatory of Cholet (49) before entering the CNMD of Lyon and perfecting her skills at the Atelier XXème (the latter focussing on contemporary repertoire for small orchestras). A qualified harp teacher, she also performs with numerous orchestras including the Berlin & Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestras as well as with various chamber music ensembles from duets to septets. She has been teaching at the Aix-en-Provence Conservatory (CRD) since September 2008.
Taking the road less travelled, breaking away from labels, seeing music as an exchange – from the day it was founded, the «Des Équilibres» ensemble’s ambition has been to engage their audiences in a true dialogue. Initially founded in 2006 by violinist Agnès Pyka, the ensemble is a gathering of musicians united by a common desire to create a conversation between aesthetics and various art forms despite their different backgrounds. «Des Équilibres» have always followed their calling as pioneers, blazing a trail through virgin territory, yet without ever abandoning tradition. The ensemble have tackled every aspect of chamber music, from the classical era to contemporary pieces, but have always followed their preference for rare or unreleased works. Remaining true to this vocation, in 2018, «Des Équilibres» commissioned three works inspired by Brahms’ violin sonatas from three French composers (Philippe Hersant, Nicolas Bacri and Graciane Finzi), to be performed at the «Ferme du Buisson» theatre. The broadness of the ensemble’s repertoire is expanded even further by their flexibility – they perform in every combination from duo to octet as their chosen programme requires.
The interplay between convergence and contradiction is the driving force in creating a programme that brims with enriching encounters. For example, in 2008, «Des Équilibres» collaborated with choreographer Michèle Anne De Mey on music composed by her brother, Thierry De Mey, in 2008, while in 2009 they joined forces with Shiro Daïmon and François Rossé to create «Mukae», a dialogue between Western tradition and the Japanese art of improvisation. They also explored the classical Algerian music of Nour-Eddine Saoudi in «Regards Croisés sur l’Algérie» in 2013, before collaborating with jazz pianist-composer Ray Lema on «Still Point», running from 2014 to 2015. Joining up with Turkish pianist Fazil Say, «Des Équilibres» took part in the opening concert for Marseille-Provence 2013. Throughout 2018, the ensemble has shared the stage with the Atar Trio in a voyage of discovery through contemporary Israeli music.
Their perennial programme, «Musiqu’en Cité(s)» in Marseille, may be the place the ensemble calls home, but the musicians of «Des Équilibres» have never stopped travelling, with visits to Cambodia and Myanmar in 2013 being followed by subsequent journeys to Germany, Hungary, Canada, Russia, Turkey, Albania, Algeria and Morocco. In 2018, a series of concerts took the ensemble to Israel, Italy, Spain and Malta.
Their taste for discovery is illustrated by a discography that is anything but repetitive. In 2011, «Des Équilibres» became the first group to record Sándor Veress’ string quartets (released by Hungaroton Records and rated four stars by the magazine Classica). In 2013, they collaborated with the Talich Quartet’s first violinist to record Bartók’s 44 Duos for Two Violins (Indésens Records). Then in 2017, they brought out the album, «Des Cordes Marines», with recordings of string trios by Jean Cras, Albert Roussel and Joseph-Ermend Bonnal (Arion Music). Most recently, in 2018, Agnès Pyka and Laurent Wagschal recorded three sonatas for violin by Mieczyslaw Weinberg, the first part of a series that will soon be completed with a second album (Arion Music).