Ensemble Aquilegia

Aquilegia was created in Geneva (Switzerland) in 2007, and includes specialist musicians of early music. The purpose of the ensemble is the research and the performance of the western music of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

The concern of authenticity brings the musicians to envisage the reading on facsimile as an obvious fact. Aquilegia also cares to the pronunciation of the old texts. By these musicological initiatives, the members of the ensemble wish to move us closer to this distant musical universe.

The wealth of the available sources and the quality of the ancient instruments copies are so many ways which encourage them to give life to this too much abandoned musical repertoire.

The versatility of the interpreters offers a large sound and dynamic variety, allowing a very alive and interesting public performance.

Encouraged by their performing experiences, the musicians like to multiplying opportunities of meeting different public, conviced that the amazing medieval music must not be reserved for only specialists.


The programm


( The various symbolic meanings of the wheel in the medieval European music)

The symbol of the wheel, present in all the cultures, is endowed with a particular importance in the medieval civilization. By its spherical shape and its movement of rotation which express the unity, the stability, the eternity at the same time as the movement and the multiplicity, the wheel is the symbol of the archetypal divine perfection: it is associated with the sun in numerous traditions, with the movement of celestial bodies in Antiquity Greco-Roman, to the creative and immanent God to the Judeo-Christian. With its multiple beams around a unique center, the wheel is the privileged ground of combinatorial mathematical about which the Middle Ages are crazy, but also takes the sense of instrument of the fate with the wheels of Fortune which spread from the 12th century.

Finally, in 14th century, we see appearing musical parts indicated as wheels, because their polyphonic structure bases on a circular cannon which reproduces in music the effect of a wheel in movement.

Our concert will explore various symbolic meanings of this great tool in the European music from the 12th to the 15th century : the musical wheel-shape in the mystic song of Hildegard de Bingen, songs on the theme of the wheel of Fortune and the games of formal permutation of the troubadour Arnault Daniel, up to the anthem of Guillaume de Machaut and in the rondeau of Baude Cordier where the concept of rotation goes as far as staging and multiplying on several levels.


Esther Labourdette, soprano

Following a complete course of studies at the Maîtrise de Radio-France, French soprano Esther Labourdette studied voice with Sylvie Sullé and Stéphanie Révidat while at the same time studying musicology at the Sorbonne in Paris. She then specialised in medieval and Renaissance singing with Katarina Livljanic, Benjamin Bagby, Lucien Kandel, Denis Raisin-Dadre and Francis Biggi, as well as in baroque singing with Julie Hassler, Gabriel Garrido, Rosa Dominguez, Maria-Cristina Kiehr, Agnès Mellon and Jérôme Corréas.

She has collaborated and recorded with ensembles Musica Nova, Doulce Mémoire, Sequentia, Candor Vocalis, I Sospiranti, Territoires du Souffle, Aquilegia, Les Riches Heures, the Mikrokosmos chamber choir, in festivals and places, among them the Festival de Saint-Denis, Festival d’Ambronay, Davos Festival, Utrecht Festival, Boston Early Music Festival.

As a soloist, she is active in Renaissance and Baroque music as well as contemporary music. She sang the part of the female musician in Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme and of Sangaride in Atys.

Bettina Ruchti, medieval fiddle

Born in Cambridge (Mass. USA) Bettina Ruchti grew up in Switzerland. She started studying the violin at the age of six and changed to the viola when she was fifteen. She studied the viola in Zurich, Florence and Geneva with Nicolas Corti, Hatto Beyerle and Nicolas Pache.

In 2005, Bettina got introduced to Early Music with Francis Biggi (Geneva). She got enthusiastic for this music and its instruments : the baroque violin, the baroque viola, the viola d’amore, the medieval fiddle and the lira da braccio. She studied these instruments and their repertoire in Geneva with Florence Malgoire and Francis Biggi.

Bettina Ruchti plays with directors such as William Christie, Ton Kopman, Jaap ter Linden, David Zinman and many others. With friends she founded the ensemble Aquilegia, an ensemble specialized in medieval and Renaissance music.

Tiphaine Boulc’h 博娣芬

She begins to study the recorder with Michelle Tellier when she is 7 in France. After studying clarinet during 8 years, she decides to study exclusively early music and she graduates in recorder and early music in the Boulogne-Billancourt conservatory of music (recorder and baroque improvisation), and also in Musicology in the university of Paris La Sorbonne.

Then, she continues to studying early music in the High School of Music in Geneva, Switzerland. She obtains a bachelor degree in performance and a master degree in music pedagogy with Gabriel Garrido. She also plays viola da gamba, and does researches in medieval occidental music. She played with directors such as Tom Koopman, Gabriel Garrido, Leonardo Garcia-Alarcon, Nima Ben David, Katarina Livljanic, Francis Biggi.

During an one year exchange studies programm, she had the opportunity and the chance to have dizi lessons with the great musician Tang Junqiao 唐骏乔 in Shanghai Conservatory of Music.

Elodie Virot, medieval traverse flute

Born in France, she began her modern flute studies in Lyon, graduating a bit later in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Her interest in Baroque repertoire led her to specialise in traverso as the modern flute historical instrument. Then she enrolled in the traverso class at the High School of Arts in Geneva with Serge Saitta as a professor, where she successfully completed her Bachelor and Masters in traverso performance. She has also studied with B. Kuijken, K. Clarck, W. Hazelzet within others.

Regarding her pedagogical qualifications, she has also completed a Masters in Pedagogy and is currently teaching in Lyon and Geneva.

In addition, she is currently member of many ensembles, some of them performing Baroque and medieval repertoire, such as ‘Les Esprits Animaux’ , ‘La note Brève’, and Aquilegia but other modern ensembles too, including ‘Matka’ and ‘Duo Interférences’.