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Denis Plante: Biography

Denis Plante

Region: Québec

Denis Plante

Denis Plante plays the bandoneon, one of the famous double A varieties, the very same as that played by Astor Piazzolla. The demands this instrument presents for composers and performers makes him the essential tango artist in Canada and a unique face in the world of contemporary tango. Plante is an impassioned musician whose vibrant interpretations allure large audiences. The critics agree: “the subtlety of his playing captures the essence of tango” "Sweet, exquisitely agile, the instrument’s latent melancholy cuts to the heart" and “keep everybody one the edge”. Denis Plante enjoys an international reputation and is frequently invited to perform in Canada, the United States and South America.

Denis Plante grew up in a rich musical universe, surrounded by his father’s collection of ancient instruments. As a youth, he accompanied his parents (founders of Ensemble Claude-Gervaise) on their tours across Canada and Europe.

After receiving classical training on the oboe he obtained a degree in Jazz performance and arranging from Concordia University. At the end of its studies, he formed the Tangovivo Quartet, which recorded his first compositions for the bandoneon. He was quickly noticed by Quartango, the award winning Canadian quartet, and he was invited to join them. In 2000, after a tour to Brazil, he recorded his first album with Quartango. This recording won an Opus Prize (world music) and was nominated for a JUNO.

As a soloist with Quartango, he has played with symphony orchestras in Canada, Turkey and the United States, presenting the Argentine tango within a traditional musical framework. He has received several awards and nominations, including an Opus (world music) for "Esprit" and another Opus (best concert) for "Bach to Tango". The four concerts he gave with Quartango and the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal resulted in a record audience of more than 60,000 people.

As a soloist, he has been invited to collaborate on various musical events and festivals. In particular with Gilles Vigneault for "Au bout de coeur", with Angele Dubeau for "La fête du violon" and Andre Gagnon with whom he recorded "Histoire rêvées" (Felix Award for instrumental album of the year), with Diane Dufresne and Yannick Nézet-Séguin for "Kurtweil" and then Luc Plamondon, André Gagnon and Rene Claude for the CD "Entre le ciel et la terre".

In 2004, Denis Plante founded Flores of Nacar, a label specializing in the production of recordings and events focusing on contemporary tango. He asked Noémi Roots-Gaudreault, the violonist of Quartango, to develop a new repertory of impressionist tango music for bandonion and string quartet. Together, they have recorded two consecutive discs for this instrumentation: "Cantos of bandoneon", an Opus finalist (world music) and "Coffee Tango", released in December.

July 2007