Bach Cello Suites

At the heart of the repertoire of nearly all cellists, Bach's cello suites are among the most appreciated works of music lovers around the world. The suites highlight how Bach is particularly adept at mixing particular characteristics of the cello. For example, because of its unique range, from the low bass to the soprano, the cello is able to create the illusion of multiple voices, a polyphony inspired by the use of Bach's harmony and melody, wonderful techniques that intrigue the ear at every moment. The suites were probably composed around 1720 when Bach lived in Cöthen in the service of Prince Leopold, when he composed much secular and instrumental music, including works for solo violin and the famous Brandenburg concertos. For this concert, the main source is the manuscript copy of Anna Magdalena Bach, as no Bach autographs survive. The sixth suite requires an entirely different cello, as Bach specified a five-string instrument in the manuscript. The fifth string, a higher string tuned to e, allows the cello to extend the scope of the music in a joyful and captivating higher register.


Suites 1-6 in 2 concerts
Suites 2, 3, 6, concert 1
Suites 1, 4, 5, concert 2

Tous les matins d'Elinor

In her quest to perform these eclectic musics on the ideal instruments, Elinor has commissioned several from her favourite makers, including internationally renowned Quebec luthier Francis Beaulieu, who created for Elinor a five-string cello and a viola da gamba.

Alone on stage, surrounded by seven instruments, Elinor invites you to discover their distinct personalities and colors while recounting the history of each of them.

All the Mornings of Elinor is a recital that is both intimate and rich in discoveries, highlighting the beautiful chaconnes of Dall’Abaco, Bach, Abel, Tartini and more.


Giuseppe Dall'Abaco - Capriccio terzo
J.S. Bach - Suite no. 6 for 5-string cello
C.F. Abel - Solo in ré mineur
Lisa Streich - Minerva
Guglielmo Ebreo - Fallas con misuras
Giuseppe Tartini - Sonata piccola no. 7
Airs folklorique

La voce del violoncello

La Voce del Violoncello offers a journey though the curious inventions of the first great cellist-composers of Italy. In the Baroque era, Italian cellist-composers contributed some of the most original and celebrated Baroque works for the instrument. Dall’Abaco, Supriani, Vitali, Gabrielli, Ruvo, Colombi, and Galli have each written cello music that is charming, sumptuous, and captivating. La Voce del Violoncello, uniquely reveals the breadth of solo cello works from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and is an important contribution to understanding the origins of unaccompanied cello music from before and during the time of Bach when Italians also wrote remarkable solo cello works. This program is the result of research and performances that have grown out of the support of grants from the US-Italy Fulbright Fellowship Program, The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Guided By Voices: New Music for Baroque Cello

Two Baroque instruments are used in this project, the four-string and five-string cello, each with a sound and character which strongly contrast with the modern cello – and which have inspired some of today’s outstanding composers to explore their unique qualities. Begun in 2014 with a work for the five-string Baroque cello by Scott Edward Godin, the program also features Canadian composers Linda Catlin Smith, Isaiah Ceccarelli, and Maxime McKinley. Works by the Japanese-American composer Ken Ueno and Swedish-German composer Lisa Streich complete the program.

When composers write a new piece for “Baroque” cello it becomes an instrument of today, not only past eras, helping to expand the sound worlds of both the cello and new music audiences. Each work reveals the cello’s incredible versatility and remarkable colours.


Scott Edward Godin (b. 1970) - Guided By Voices (2014-15)
Lisa Streich (b. 1985) - Minerva (2018)
Linda Catlin Smith (b. 1956) - Ricercar (2015)
Isaiah Ceccarelli (b. 1978) - With concord of sweet sounds (2015)
Maxime McKinley (b. 1979) - Cortile di Pilato (2017)
Ken Ueno (b. 1970) - Chimera (excerpts) (2017)