Gertrude Létourneau, flutist and Catherine Donkin, pianist have collaborated in various chamber music concerts in the past few years, several of them with the Ottawa Chamber Players. After discovering their mutual passion for French music they officially created Duo Cecilia, offering a repertoire filled with French elegance and virtuosity. Duo Cecilia combines a great musical sensibility with a warm sense of presentation.
Gertrude and Catherine are comfortable engaging the listeners in their programs by making a concert an interactive experience. In December 2022, for Les Concerts Ponticello in Gatineau, Quebec, they offered ‘’When Pan meets Syrinx’’, where storytelling was an integrated part of the concert. Their new program “A Taste of Paris”, which is being featured in several concert series and senior homes in Ottawa in 2023, compares French cuisine’s ingredients to musical ingredients.
Listeners in various concert series in the Ottawa region have enjoyed Duo Cecilia’s appeal. Recent performances have been through Concerts in Care, an organization which promotes classical music concerts in seniors residences. 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 programs include music from composers such as Debussy, Ravel, Widor , Bizet, Damase, Fauré and Bonis.
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.