6 concert events:

GS1: Not Seeing is a Flower

OCTOBER 22, 2021 | 8PM
Winnipeg art gallery, muriel richardson auditorium
Guest curator, Leanne Zacharias

Cellist Leanne Zacharias’ approach to musical life has been compared to extreme sport—from soloist to collaborating across genres with choreographers, writers, architects, visual artists and musicians of all stripes, she has emerged with a uniquely vibrant and contemporary voice. 

Not Seeing is a Flower presents the cello in a series of solos, distinct dialogues, and collaborative responses, including a choreographic video work by Lesandra Dodson (Fredericton), stop-motion video by Christine Fellows (Winnipeg), and the premiere of a new chamber concerto by Nicole Lizée (Montreal). Additional works by Robert Honstein (NYC), Andrew Norman (NYC) and Michael Oesterle (Montreal). 

GroundSwell will also be toasting Zacharias’ solo album, Music for Spaces, released earlier this summer. Recorded off-grid in unique environments and acoustic sites around rural Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Ontario, several pieces from the album will be performed live.



November 22, 2021 | 8PM
St Andrews Church
Curated by Michael MatthewS

Pianist Madeline Hildebrand is recognized for her departure from tradition and once again she captivates us with new compositions, this time showcasing the piano in concert with a second voice vying to be heard. The relationship of piano and voice in Peter Ablinger‘s cycle suggests a competition rather than collaboration, as each piece features spoken words by a well-known individual.  Kaley Lane Eaton‘s Free is built around an electronic pitch-following sine wave that attempts to mimic the piano, to no avail, resulting in a strange human-computer counterpoint. Donnacha Dennehy creates a world of competing overtones by incorporating the soundtrack of a detuned piano, Errollyn Wallen inserts the voice o Louis Couperin into a flurry of chaotic nursery rhymes, while Kate Soper‘s fascinating composition for speaking/singing pianist requires Madeline’s own voice.

She will be joined by Cathy Wood (clarinet) and Kerry DuWors (violin) in premieres of commissioned works by Canadian composers David Braid* and Michael Matthews*. 

*30th Anniversary GroundSwell commissions, funded by GroundSwell


GS3: Standing Wave Ensemble: Refractions

March 1, 2022 | 8 PM
Curated by Gordon Fitzell

Cutting-edge chamber ensemble Standing Wave is celebrating its thirty-first year of audacious music-making! Comprising six of Vancouver’s most sought-after musical multitaskers, from improvisers to orchestral players, the group has performed extensively, released four albums, and commissioned over 100 new works by many of Canada’s most visionary composers. For the fifth concert of GroundSwell’s 2021-22 season, Standing Wave will present a bold program of new and recently commissioned pieces for ensemble, interactive electronics and video, including works by Bekah Simms, Nancy Tam, Gordon Fitzell and others. Included will be world premieres by emerging Manitoba composers Kiara Nathaniel and Rebecca Schroeder*.

*30th Anniversary GroundSwell commissions, funded by GroundSwell


GS4: Interspecies Smalltalk—Behrman & Schrey

March 15, 2022 | 8 PM
Winnipeg art gallery, muriel Richardson auditorium
Guest curator, crys cole

This program is dedicated to the incomparable work of American artist & composer David Behrman alongside one of his recent collaborators, emerging American composer & fiddler Cleek Schrey.  Since the 1960’s, New York-based composer David Behrman has charted new territories by melding new technologies with traditional instrumentation to create compelling works that exist in a distinct world of their own. A founding member of the Sonic Arts Union (alongside Alvin Lucier, Gordon Mumma & Robert Ashley) and producer of the Music of Our Time series at Columbia records in the late 60’s, Behrman has continually innovated new ideas in contemporary music through his recordings, concerts, collaborations and installations. Appearing with David Behrman is Cleek Schrey, an exciting young artist who fuses a deep connection to traditional music with an unyielding exploration of new approaches to sound. Interspecies Smalltalk will showcase historic works alongside new and collaborative pieces, developed by the unique fusion of these collaborators.


GS5: Quatuor Bozzini

March 22, 2022 | 8 PM
venue TBA
Curated by Jim Hiscott


For over two decades, Quatuor Bozzini (Stéphanie & Isabelle Bozzini, Alissa Cheung, Clemens Merkel) has been an original voice in new, experimental and classical music. Their skew is radically contemporary, propelling the hyper-creative Montreal scene, and beyond. Not content to parlay received wisdom, the quartet cultivates an ethos of risk-taking, and boldly venture off the beaten track.  With over four hundred commissioned pieces, and close to five hundred premiered works, Quatuor Bozzini has nurtured a vastly diverse repertoire, unbiased by the currents of fashion. A Quatuor Bozzini concert is an intensely shared experience, with meticulous and sensuous attention to detail.

For its first appearance with Groundswell, Quatuor Bozzini will perform world premieres by Manitobans Jim Hiscott* and Kristen Wachniak*. The virtuosity, shimmering colours and timbral explorations of composers Alissa Cheung, Sky Macklay, Egidija Medekšaitė and Tanya Tagaq will showcase the full palette of the quartet.

*30th Anniversary GroundSwell commissions, funded by the Manitoba Arts Council


GS6: GroundSwell & Ensemble Télémaque Exchange Project

April 20, 2022 | 8 PM
Cercle Moliere Theatre

This large, two-phase project was conceived in 2017 by Ensemble Télémaque’s (Marseille) Artistic Director and conductor Raoul Lay, and GroundSwell (Winnipeg) Co-Artistic Director Jim Hiscott

Phase 1): commissions by four Canadian composers were workshopped and premiered in Marseille by Ensemble Télémaque in 2019 with the composers in attendance.  The composers are Rita Ueda (Vancouver), Bekah Simms (Toronto), James O’Callaghan (Montréal), and Jim Hiscott (Winnipeg).
Phase 2): Ensemble Télémaque (soprano, flute, clarinet, trumpet, percussion, violin, cello) will travel to Canada to present the new works (along with other repertoire) in Winnipeg (hosted by GroundSwell), Toronto (hosted by The Music Gallery) and Montréal (hosted by Innovations en Concert). 

This long-term project is being supported by project grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, Télémaque’s French sponsors, GroundSwell and its Canadian partners. 


All GroundSwell concerts are pay-what-you-can, how-you-can: online through Eventbrite; at the concert with cash, QR code or cheque; or by snail mail before or after the event. The concerts will be available online approximately two weeks after the live performance.