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Le Poeme Harmonique to Return to Miller Theatre This Spring with AIRS DE COUR

Miller Theatre at Columbia University School of the Arts concludes the 2015-2016 Early Music series with Airs de Cour featuring Le Poème Harmonique (Vincent Dumestre, artistic director) on Sunday April 3, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. at American Academy of Arts & Letters (632 W. 156th Street).

Tickets: $35-$50; Students with valid ID: $21-$30. For more information, visit

From Miller Theatre Executive Director Melissa Smey: "Back in 2008, Le Poème Harmonique made their Miller Theatre debut at the Academy of Arts and Letters-our first concert in that venue. This April, they return to that space as a beloved fixture of our Early Music series with an intimate repertoire of airs de cour. It is amazing to watch this ensemble transform itself with exquisite new programs year after year."

Miller Theatre's "essential" (The New Yorker) Early Music series has been lauded as a leader in the scene. This year Miller welcomes back four established masters of period performance-The Tallis Scholars, Orlando Consort, Le Poème Harmonique, New York Polyphony-and is thrilled to present Vox Luminis from Belgium in their Miller debut. The result is an eclectic and fascinating tour of the musical riches of the pre-Classical era.

A celebrated fixture of Miller's early music series, the beguiling French ensemble Le Poème Harmonique first came to international attention over a decade ago with their performances of airs de cour, lauded as "more than a beautiful anthology, a journey into history" (Le Monde). These songs of passion and unrequited love captured the delicate beauty idealized by the French aristocracy and are a perfect fit for the ensemble's impassioned performance style-and for the acoustically lush Academy of Arts & Letters, where this performance is presented.

Jean Boyer: Que ferai-je?
Pierre Guédron: Tant et tant il m'ennuie
Pierre Guédron Guédron: Bien qu'un cruel martire
Adrien Leroy: O combien est heureuse
Didier Leblanc: Quel secours
Didier Leblanc: Les Mariniers
Fabrice Caïétain: Mais voyez mon cher esmoy
Henri Le Bailly: La Locura
Francisque Caroubel: Passepieds de Bretaigne - Spagnolette - Courante
Anonymous: Allons vieille imperfaite
Girard de Beaulieu: Hélas que me faut il faire
Pierre Guédron: A Paris sur petit pont
Pierre Guédron: Qu'on ne me parle plus d'amour

Le Poème Harmonique
Lucile Richardot
Bruno Le Levreur
Serge Goubioud
Geoffroy Buffière
Andreas Linos
Sylvie Abramowicz
Lucas Peres
Françoise Enock Levi
Jérémie Papasergio
Thomas Boysen
Vincent Dumestre

Le Poème Harmonique ( - Formed in 1998, Le Poème Harmonique is a group of soloists, gathered around its artistic director Vincent Dumestre. Its artistic activity, centered on vocal and instrumental music of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, is regularly enriched by interaction with other disciplines.

Actors, dancers, circus artists, and puppeteers join Le Poème Harmonique's singers and musicians in programs of chamber works (Le Ballet des Fées, Il Fasolo) and in large-scale stage productions, such as Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme (a comédie-ballet by Molière and Lully; stage director Benjamin Lazar) and Baroque Carnival (directed by Cécile Roussat). For operatic performances, such as Lully's Cadmus et Hermione and Cavalli's Egisto (both staged by Benjamin Lazar), Le Poème Harmonique studies in depth the correspondences between period aesthetics-using candles for lighting, authentic gestures, and painted sets and machinery-and the aesthetics of modern stage productions. The ensemble also gets back to the sources of early French and Italian music by exploring its relationships with traditional or folk music; their recording entitled Aux Marches du Palaisis is devoted to French songs of oral tradition.

Outstanding events of the past seasons include Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, Baroque Carnival, and Cadmus et Hermione. The ensemble's recent stage projects have included the first performances of Pagliardi's Caligula, in September 2011 at the International Puppet Festival in Charleville-Mézières, and of Cavalli's Egisto in February 2012 at the Opéra-Comique in Paris, then at the Opéra de Rouen Haute-Normandie. Also, in 2013-2014 Le Poème Harmonique presented Purcell's Dido and Æneas at Rouen Opéra. In 2014-2015, again with the Opéra-Comique and Rouen Opéra, the ensemble performed Le Malade imaginaire, the play by Molière, with music by Charpentier. The ensemble's recordings for the Alpha label have met with rare public success, including the Grand Prix du Disque from l'Académie Charles Cros, the Diapason d'Or, a Prelude Classical Award in 2003, the Antonio Vivaldi International Award (Cini Foundation, Venice), the Caecilia Press Prize, and recommendations from Opéra International, Classica, and Le Monde de la Musique.

About Vincent Dumestre - Vincent Dumestre (b. 1968) is the founder and artistic director of Le Poème Harmonique, with which he explores the vocal and instrumental repertoire of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. With this faithful team of artists he also seeks to revive the performing arts of the Baroque period, thereby favoring in many of his projects interaction with other artistic disciplines.

After studying art history at the École du Louvre and classical guitar at the École Normale de Musique in Paris, Dumestre turned to the lute, Baroque guitar, and theorbo, which he studied with Hopkinson Smith and Eugène Ferré, with Rolf Lislevand at the Toulouse Conservatoire, and in the continuo class at the Boulogne Conservatoire, where he was unanimously awarded the advanced diploma. Since then he has taken part in many concerts, in particular with the Ricercar Consort, La Simphonie du Marais, Le Concert des Nations, La Grande Écurie et la Chambre du Roy, Akademia, and the ensembles of the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles. He has taken part in more than thirty recordings with those ensembles.

In 1998 Dumestre formed Le Poème Harmonique-a chamber ensemble and orchestra specializing in the Baroque repertoire. In 1999 the French music magazine Diapason voted Dumestre "Young Talent of the Year" for his work with Le Poème Harmonique. Over the past four years the repute of Dumestre and Le Poème Harmonique has grown spectacularly and the ensemble's stage productions and concerts are now presented at many prestigious venues in France and abroad. Columbia University's Miller Theatre is located north of the Main Campus Gate
at 116th St. & Broadway on the ground floor of Dodge Hall.

The American Academy of Arts & Letters is located at 632 W. 156th Street, between Broadway and Riverside Drive. Tickets may be purchased online or through the Miller Theatre Box Office in person or at 212/854-7799, M-F, 12-6 p.m. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the American Academy of Arts and Letters beginning two hours before the performance. Directions and information is available online at or via the Miller Theatre Box Office, at 212.854.7799.

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