Conductor NICOLE PAIEMENT has been the Artistic Director of Ensemble Parallèle since 1993. Dedicated to the performance of music from the 20th and 21st centuries, the ensemble commissions new works and has recorded many world-premiere performances, including music by Lou Harrison, Germaine Tailleferre, Henry Cowell, Claude Debussy, Henri Collet, Andrew Imbrie, and others. Commissions and world premieres have included music by Laura Schwendinger, Elinor Armer, Alden Jenks, Bruce Mather, Jacques Desjardins, John Harbison, Hi Kyung Kim, Carolyn Yarnell, and Robert Helps. The ensemble has been supported by the National Endowment of the Arts, the Art Research Institute of the University of California, and the Aaron Copland Foundation.
Since 1999 Paiement has also been the Artistic Director of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music New Music Ensemble (NME). Under her baton NME has gained recognition in the Bay Area as a dynamic new-music ensemble promoting and commissioning works of living composers. Paiement is also the Director of Ensembles at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the founder (with the support of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music) of the BluePrint project, a highly successful series focused on building new music for San Francisco.
Paiement’s interest in both vocal and instrumental music has led her to conduct and record many new operas. She recorded the world premiere of Lou Harrison’s serial opera Rapunzel and is presently working on mounting the premiere of Harrison’s last opera, Young Caesar. She also recorded David Conte’s The Gift of the Magi.
As a guest conductor, her more recent engagements have included the Kochi Orchestra from Japan, the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, the Monterey Jazz Festival Orchestra, the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. This fall she will return to Korea to conduct the Seoul Symphony in a concert of world premieres.
Paiement received her doctorate in conducting from the Eastman School of Music and has had additional studies with Erich Leinsdorf.