Continuum Consort:

Elizabeth MacIsaac and
Douglas Hensley



Continuum Consort

The Continuum Consort was formed in 1998 by Elizabeth MacIsaac and Douglas Hensley as an outlet for their collective interest in a wide span of art music for voice and plucked string instruments. The Consort's early music activities have included:

  • a tour of Vancouver Island schools with a programme of music from the time of Leonardo da Vinci (1999);
  • the mounting of an Elizabethan Masque in affiliation with the Shakespeare Festival of Victoria and an appearance with the Victoria Symphony's Festival Baroque Ensemble (2000);
  • Two concert tours to Korea. World premieres of works by Canadian and Korean Composers at the PAN Festival and in Seoul. (2006-7);
  • a program for the University of Victoria Medieval Studies that resulted in the live CD recording entitled "Pleasure, Pomp and Power" (2001);
  • appearances in Seattle and in Victoria's acclaimed series Eine Kleine Summer Music and Sundays in the Park (2002);
  • Concerts of Persian Music, including "DARYA" with Babak Mehr, Faraidoun Akhavan and Neil Golden.(2007-8)

The members of the Consort have always been active in commissioning and performing new works. In 2003 the Canada Council for the Arts awarded the Continuum Consort a grant to commission a work for voice and archlute from Calgary composer John Abram, which received its debut performance in May of that year.In 2006, The BC Arts council awarded funds for the commission of a work by Dorothy Cheng, set to poems from Jan Zwicky's "Small Songs and Silences"

In November 2003 the Consort produced a program of 20th and 21st century music entitled "Eastern Echoes", which included a world premiere as well as a number of Canadian premieres, by composers from the US, Korea/US, Scotland, Sweden, Japan, and Canada. In August 2004, flautist Paolo Bortolussi and violist Kay Cochran joined the Consort in the world premiere of six works written for the Consort by members of Delos, a group of Koran women composers.

The Consort has appeared annually in faculty recitals at the Victoria Conservatory of Music since 1999, in programs of both early and contemporary music. The duo's most recent project, a CD of voice and lute repertoire spanning four centuries, has now been released, to acclaim.