© Juli Estrada

Ensemble Calliopée

Ensemble Calliopée was in artistic residency at the FEU from 2017 to 2022. Transmission, creation and the cultural link between France and the United States were the underlying themes of this residency. The City of Paris supported three editions of the "États-Unis, Terre d’accueil" project. In 2020-21, the Embassy of the United States of America in France supported "Regards croisées - Paris/New-York", which was presented in an audiovisual version. The 2021-22 project, "Bringing Life to the Score" focused on new works by composers in residence at the FEU.

Founded in 1999, Ensemble Calliopée is a chamber music ensemble, varying in size from two to ten musicians. The Ensemble’s artistic director, Karine Lethiec, brings together artists of international talent who combine their skills as soloists and chamber musicians. In addition to sharing chamber music masterpieces from the classics to the contemporary, the Ensemble is committed to researching new repertoires from the past and present and invests in sharing them with all audiences. They have commissioned numerous contemporary works.

Ensemble Calliopée’s approach is above all to make music accessible to everyone by focusing on historical pieces, a curiosity for contemporary composition, and an original and broadened view of the artistic, historical or scientific context as well as contemporary questions. The Ensemble also collaborates with artists and personalities from other art forms and performs on national stages, in prestigious venues, and festivals.

In addition, Ensemble Calliopée implements artistic and educational projects within the framework of medium or long-term partnerships that it forges with institutions, teams and diverse audiences (residencies at the Museum of National Archaeology in May 2018, in Val-d’Oise since 2016, at the University of Orléans and its Le Bouillon Théâtre since 2016, at the Musée de la Grande Guerre du Pays de Meaux from 2011 to 2018, and at the Fondation des États-Unis since 2017).

In 2017, the Ensemble Calliopée and the Fondation des États-Unis decided to join forces to promote their common history, both tangible and intangible, born of exchanges between Europe and the United States, with the aim of playing for diverse audiences.

With transmission as its main focus, this artistic residency was an opportunity to explore the theme of the United States as a land that welcomed artists from Europe (and vice versa with the resident musicians). The projects were based on an intergenerational exchange between the FEU’s resident musicians, particularly the Harriet Hale Woolley scholars, and the Ensemble’s musicians, and took the form of rehearsals, concerts, outreach events and master classes. The residency was also included in the 17th edition of the Rencontres musicales de Saint-Cézaire-sur-Siagne 2018, the Ensemble’s Academy-Festival in Provence.

The musical programs were created and presented by Karine Lethiec and took varied forms, with a historical contextualization of the music in order to better understand the repertoire performed as well as the history linked to its creation, in a process of democratization of music and history.

Concerts, Performances and Master Classes


Bringing Life to the Score – Heath, Debussy, Frisch, Herrera, Gurin, Frank, Graves, Vasks, Robinson


Paris/New-York : Regards croisés – Debussy, Clarke, Carter, Boulanger, Greif


États-Unis, « Terre d’accueil » #5 – Prokofiev, Weill, Golijov, Achron

Lunchtime Masterclasses


États-Unis, « Terre d’accueil » #4 – Gershwin, Herrera, Bartok

États-Unis, « Terre d’accueil » #3 – Gruenberg, Demenga, Rachmaninov, Dohnanyi

Music outreach sessions for hospitalized patients – Dvorak, Granados, Rachmaninov, Bartok, Albeniz
In partnership with the Centre Inter-Médiathèques / CFDC / AP-HP at the European Hospital Georges Pompidou in the rooms of hospitalized patients.


Les États-Unis, « Terre d’accueil » #2 – Rachmaninov, Mahler, Korngold
Les États-Unis, « Terre d’accueil » #1 – Mozart, Da Ponte, Dvorak, Europe, Damrosch, Prokofiev, Casals, Martinu, Golijov

Music outreach session « Autour des cordes » for students – Dvorak, Dohnanyi, Bartók, Casals, Norman, Milhaud, Clarke, Europe, Stravinsky
In partnership with the Academy of Paris

Music outreach session « Autour des cordes » for hospitalized patients – Dvorak, Dohnanyi, Bartók, Casals, Norman, Milhaud, Clarke, Europe, Stravinsky
In partnership with the Centre Inter-Médiathèques / CFDC / AP-HP at The Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital and at the European Hospital Georges Pompidou.

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