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Gertrude Létourneau, flutist and Catherine Donkin, pianist have collaborated in various chamber music concerts in the past several years. After discovering their mutual passion for French music they officially created Duo Cecilia, offering a repertoire filled with French elegance and virtuosity. 

Renowned for their musical sensitivity and engaging stage presence, Gertrude and Catherine excel in creating interactive concerts, captivating audiences with their performances. Their programs, “When Pan meets Syrinx”, “A Taste of Paris” and “Paris 1900”, enriched with storytelling and thematic elements, have been warmly received by listeners across the Ottawa region. 

Duo Cecilia has showcased their talents in diverse settings, from traditional concert halls to senior residences, adapting their performances for different audiences. Recent performances include adaptive concerts for Ottawa Chamberfest and performances for  Concerts in Care, an organization which promotes classical music concerts in seniors residences. In July 2024, Duo Cecilia will be part of the  Chamberfest’s Bring the Kids! Series at the National Arts Centre.

Duo Cecilia has also performed several online concerts  for the Music Performance Trust Fund through the Musicians’ Association of Ottawa-Gatineau and in a variety of venues  such as Music as Sanctuary at St.Andrew’s, Southminster United Church, MacKay United Church, MERA’s Blue Jeans Classical Concerts, the University of Ottawa Alumni Concerts and private house concerts. Their repertoire  includes music from composers such as Debussy, Ravel, Widor , Bizet, Damase, Fauré and Bonis. 

Testimonials

Gertrude Létourneau and Catherine Donkin, Duo Cecilia, are excellent, engaging musicians.  Their programs are rich in depth and variety, their sound is elegant, and their ensemble impeccable.  They change colours and styles effortlessly throughout their scope of repertoire. 

PLUS, they are completely charming on stage and off.   Our audiences, seniors in long-term and memory care, assisted and independent living, and members of Seniors’ Active Living Centres, welcome Duo Cecilia with open arms every time, and the feedback is always full of superlatives.  

Concerts in Care highly recommends Gertrude and Catherine as both superb professional musicians and community engagers with heart and soul.

Debra Chandler, Executive Director, Concerts in Care Ontario

“People expressed admiration for your ensemble playing, for your choice of repertoire and the information you provided about the pieces you played. I too thought it was an exceptional performance, in all respects.” 

-Wita Schliewen, House Concert Hostess

“Duo Cecilia is a delightful mix of superb musicianship and French classical repertoire.  A relaxed stage demeanor and Gertrude and Catherine’s interaction with the audience makes everyone feel at home with the music.’’

-Mike Mullin, Ottawa-Gatineau Musicians’ Association Board member and sound technician.

Brava, my friend.  

I was completely blown away by your performance this morning, as was the entire audience. From the start you brought the magic.  I don’t know if you heard it, but there was an audible collective sigh from the audience with the very first few notes you played.  I’ve been to many concerts there, and I don’t believe I’ve ever seen the audience quite so enchanted !!  It was IMMEDIATE, and you two kept the spell throughout.   Delicate.  Exquisite. Menahem Pressler said that Debussy must “shimmer”.You did.   In spades.

Love you. Kris

PS:  BTW I should have warned you – they clap between every movement;  they’ve always done so, and will continue to do. I can’t blame them because they do it out of sheer spontaneous joy.

PPS:  Gertrude was also wonderful = both the playing and the audience interaction; she was very natural, confident, intelligent and funny.  The audience liked your reading too very much — you have a charming personality in any language!

“Your concert last year was exquisite. We are looking forward to the sequel.” Matthew Larkin, Music Director, Music as Sanctuary at St.Andrew’s, Ottawa

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