Described in the Vancouver Sun as “a dream gift… One of the best additions to local new music circles”, The Nu:BC Collective brings together the spectacular talents of flutist Paolo Bortolussi, cellist Eric Wilson and pianist Corey Hamm, joined frequently by such eminent artists as violinist Jasper Wood, violist David Harding, and clarinetists Francois Houle and Cris Inguanti. Nu:BC's critically acclaimed concerts have featured repertoire from exciting and influential contemporary composers from Canada and abroad including Kaija Saariaho, Gerard Grisey, Gyorgy Ligeti, Frederic Rzewski, Jesper Nordin, Gyorgy Kurtag, Arvo Pärt, George Crumb, John Adams, Chen Yi, Howard Bashaw, Keith Hamel, Robert Pritchard, Dorothy Chang, Stephen Chatman, Chris Paul Harman, Nikolai Kapustin, Jacob ter Veldhuis, Hildegaard Westerkamp, Robert Normandeau, Marc Mellits, Michel Gonneville, Benjamin Wilson, Jerome Blais, Somei Satoh, Pierre Jodlowski, and Harold Meltzer.
Incorporating technology and interdisciplinary collaboration has been a focus of the Collective, resulting in works pairing music with dance, interactive video and computer, as well as theatrical elements. Collaborations have included Vancouver dancer Emily Molnar choreographing and dancing alongside a performance of Ligeti piano etudes, as well as works for interactive electronics and live performer with electronic music gurus Keith Hamel and Robert Pritchard. Nu:BC has also commissioned three live interactive video projects by media artist jamie griffiths exploring themes of faith, race, and global connectivity, and using interactive technology to create a powerful connection between her vision, the music, and the audience.
Since forming in 2006, Nu:BC has premiered more than a twenty works, including Nu:BC-commissioned pieces by Jules-Leger winner Chris Paul Harman, and Vancouver composer Christopher Sivak. In addition to its own self-produced concerts at the Chan Centre, Nu:BC has conducted masterclasses, coachings, and given concerts at the Universities of Alberta and Western Washington, and given concerts on the Music on Main series, as well as the Washington Composers Forum. In 2008, The Nu:BC Collective was ensemble-in-residence with ProMusica’s Sonic Boom Festival, and has continued its association with the festival every year since then. This February will mark the culmination of a major project in collaboration with the BC Chinese Music Ensemble. The combined forces of Nu:BC and the BCCME will premiere six commissioned works – three by Chinese composers traveling to the event for workshops and the performance, and three by Vancouver composers Dorothy Chang, Owen Underhill, and John Oliver. Upcoming projects include the premiere of a new work being written for the ensemble by Brian Cherney, as well as the upcoming recording of two CDs, with works by Dorothy Chang, Mark Mellits, Kaija Saariaho, Keith Hamel, Claude Vivier, Chris Paul Harman, and Brian Cherney. From its inception in 2006, The Nu:BC Collective has received critical accolades for its innovative programming and intense, virtuosic performances; Nu:BC has since been broadcast several times on CBC radio’s “The Signal” and has earned its place on the cutting edge of Canada’s new music scene.