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Nicole Corti

A respected choir director and conductor, Nicole Corti is also a dedicated and accomplished teacher. This dual aspect of her musical personality is a prominent feature in a career firmly directed towards vocal and contemporary music from the outset.

At 22, Nicole Corti set up a music school at Irigny, a small suburban town near Lyon. There she developed an original pedagogical approach which placed the voice and singing in the forefront. Soon she was asked to teach choir conducting at the Lyon CEFEDEM and the Paris Centre d’Art Polyphonique. In 1989 she was appointed assistant to the famous choir conductor Bernard Têtu at the Lyon Conservatoire National Supérieur where she created a student choir for CNSM instrumental majors.

In 1981, she founded the all-female choir Chœur Britten that soon achieved international fame. In 1989. The Chœur Britten won the Tours Choir Competition Grand Prix as well as three additional First Prizes.

Their concerts in Europe and the United States are often paired with master-classes which give Nicole Corti an opportunity to set forth her aesthetic views, especially regarding tone color, to a larger public. The particular quality of her work has inspired many contemporary composers to write for the Chœur Britten: Maurice Ohana, Camille Roy, Jean-Charles François, Adrienne Clostre, Edith Lejet, François Vercken, Robert Pascal, Philippe Gouttenoire, Nicolas Bacri. More recently, the younger generation of composers (Benoît Menut, Malika Kishino, Alexandre Levy) has amply provided new concert repertoire. As part of its 25th anniversary celebrations, the choir premiered several pieces by Aubert Lemeland, Robert Pascal, Christine Mennesson, Edith Lejet and Philippe Gouttenoire. In artistic residency in Ardèche, Chœur Britten commissioned a work from young composer Caroline Marçot.

During her tenure as choir director and head of studies at the Notre-Dame Maîtrise choir school (1993-2006), Nicole Corti has been actively involved in increasing the choir’s visibility and broadening its repertoire. Besides its regular duties at Notre-Dame, the choir has a busy concert and recording schedule. Not only staple oratorios (Bach’s Magnificat, Handel’s Israel in Egypt, Stravinsky’s A Symphony of Psalms) and Romantic repertoire, but 20th- and 21st-century music now sound forth under the legendary vaults of Notre-Dame.
In great demand as a choir coach, Nicole Corti has collaborated with the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris and conductor John Nelson (Bach Passions, B minor Mass, Berlioz Enfance du Christ).

Her discography focusses on little-known or rarely recorded works.
In 1988, she prepared the Chœur Britten for the premiere recording of Bela Bartok’s 27 choral pieces, under the direction of Hungarian conductor Miklos Szabo. She has recorded unpublished 20th-century pieces (by Ohana, Pascal, Procaccioli, Ourgandjian) and Caplet’s Miroir de Jésus. In 2006, En l’honneur de sainte Anne, a tribute to J.-G. Ropartz.

With the Maïtrise, she has recorded Duruflé’s Requiem, Liszt’s Via Crucis, Christian Villeneuve’s Comme un reflet, Jean-Pierre Leguay’s Missa Deo Gratias, and three CDs respectively devoted to Thierry Escaïch, Jean Langlais Jean-Louis Florentz (in collaboration with Olivier Latry and Ensemble Orchestral de Paris).

Discography at Hortus

Couverture HORTUS 042
En L’honneur de ...
J-G. Ropartz
Couverture HORTUS 051
Le Livre d’Heure...
Edith Canat de Chi...
Couverture HORTUS 054
Sonates II et III ...
Jean-Pierre Leguay...
Couverture HORTUS 055
Grandes Messes du ...
Louis Vierne - Jea...
Couverture HORTUS 924
Thierry Escaich
Le Dernier Evangil...

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