Members Anna Besson Louis Creac’h Robin Pharo Jean Rondeau
The love and passion of ancient repertoire and music from all horizons led Anna Besson, Louis Creac’h, Robin Pharo and Jean Rondeau to create the group Nevermind in 2013. Together they share and present works they love to a wide and varied audience, transcending the quartet repertoire (flute, violin, viola da gamba and harpsichord) of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Having won the third prize and special festival prize at the 2014 Van Wassenaer Competition in Utrecht, Nevermind’s subsequent concerts have only reinforced their conviction: the friendship that emerges from these four musicians appears through passion and a real pleasure of playing, all carried by a striking complicity and devout collaboration.
Following a busy 2022 Festival season with engagements at the Festival Ravel, the Utrecht Early Music Festival and Sinfonia en Périgord, highlights of Nevermind’s upcoming 2022/23 season include concerts at the Wiener Konzerthaus, Wigmore Hall, and the Prague Spring Festival with a programme centred around C. P. E. Bach. In Spring 2023, Nevermind champions the music of 17th century composer Elizabeth Jacquet de la Guerre in a tour encompassing Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, having already performed this programme to great acclaim in 2022 across France and the United Kingdom.
September 2021 saw the highly anticipated release of Nevermind’s third album recorded for the Alpha / Outhere label, which delves into the quartets of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. The group’s previous album Quatuors Parisiens was dedicated to the work of Georg-Philipp Telemann and was released in 2017 by Alpha / Outhere following a residence at the Abbaye aux Dames de Saintes. Nevermind’s first album with Alpha / Outhere, Conversations, was released in 2016 with the aim of giving an insight on French quartets from the first half of the 18th century, highlighting almost completely unknown pieces composed by two virtuoso violinists: Jean-Baptiste Quentin and Louis-Gabriel Guillemain.
Nevermind have showcased their stunning virtuosity at prestigious venues such as the Auditorium of the Louvre, the Salle Cortot and the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, as well as in the United States at the Boston Early Music Festival and at the esteemed Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio. The Quartet has also performed in Canada with Pro Musica, in Iceland, and Russia, notably in Saint Petersburg and in the Sverdlovsk Philharmonic Concert Hall of Yekaterinburg. On tour, Nevermind have appeared at BOZAR in Brussels, the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam, the Hamburg Philharmonic, the Konzerthaus Dortmund, Alte Oper Frankfurt, the Centra Nacional de Difusion Music in Madrid, Hong Kong City Hall, the Warsaw Philharmonie, the Concertgebouw Bruges, LSO St Luke’s, the London Barbican, and the Salle de Musique in la Chaux-de-Fonds. 2019/20 saw them embark on a highly successful tour of Australia with visits to Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide, Newcastle and Brisbane and that same year they also performed at the Bel-Air clavier festival and in Hong Kong at the Premiere Performances series. Their festival appearances include the Rheingau Musik Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Festival of Saintes, the Terpsichore festival, Musiq3 festival in Belgium, Gstaad Menuhin festival in Switzerland and the Gregynog festival in Wales.
The Quartet delved into the world of contemporary music for the first time in 2019 and launched works for violin, flute, viola da gamba and harpsichord entitled La Harpe de David, especially composed for Nevermind by Philippe Hersant. The work was premiered at the International Festival of Sacred and Baroque Music of Froville, the Saintes Festival, the La Chaise-Dieu Festival and the Sinfonia Festival in Périgord.
“The Paris-based ensemble of flautist Anna Besson, violonist Louis Creac’h, viola da gamba player Robin Pharo and harpsichordist Jean Rondeau brought a delicacy to early numbers by Marin Marais and Francois Couperin; a soothing ambience on a blustery Canberra night. The soft focus of the baroque flute and the intangible quality of natural strings made for a barely there, beguiling sound. And self-deprecating humour from the artists was icing on an exotic cake.”
(The West Australian, David Cusworth, October 2019)
“In Sydney on their first national tour for Musica Viva Australia, the group certainly didn’t disappoint, delivering stylish, refined performances of music by Marais, Couperin and Telemann – as well as lesser known composers Quentin and Guillemain – with easy panache and formidable technique.
The musicians whet the audience’s appetite with four movements from the fourth suite in Marin Marais’ 1692 Pièces en trio, showing off a polished, complex sound, limned at the upper end by the sweetness of Besson’s baroque flute and the darker, penetrating sound of Louis Creac’h’s violin. Lean viola da gamba lines from Robin Pharo offset rolling flourishes from Jean Rondeau in the lyrical La Marianne while the almost agonisingly drawn out Plainte once more highlighted the rich, floral sound of the ensemble.
The ornate filigree of François Couperin’s L’Espagnole suite from the 1726 Les Nations ramped up the intensity, the group’s ensemble work impeccable (and beautifully balanced) across tripping and lilting dance movements, the musicians dextrous in the fast passagework. A moment in the final Passacaille when the continuo of harpsichord and viola da gamba suddenly dropped away to reveal exquisitely duetting flute and violin was simply breath-taking.”
(Limelight Magazine, Angus McPherson, October 2019)
“Indeed, the playing throughout the disc is first-rate, and in Guillemain Nevermind pip Ensemble Barockin’ at the post”