Cris Derksen

Orchestral Powwow

for full or chamber orchestra with indiginous singers, drummers, and dancer

À propos de l'œuvre

Cellist and composer Cris Derksen is deeply interested in the intersections of the contemporary and the traditional not only in music, but also in visual arts, fashion, writing, and theater. As a daughter of Canada, part Cree and part Mennonite, her musical engagement leads her towards the exploration of the human condition in a contemporary light by pushing old traditions in new directions. The Orchestral Powwow Project does just that: using classical tools with Powwow groups to express the intersections between the old and the new, bringing together Derksen's mixed heritage as well as her classical cello training. Orchestral Powwow brings Indigenous music to the European model of orchestral writing, as Indigenous artists lead the way with drums and heart beats to create something entirely new.


Durée :


Mouvements :

in 8 or 9 short pieces

Instrumentation :

Full orchestra or chamber orchestra with 6 Powwow singers and drummers, 1 hoop dancer, 1 percussionist, female vocal soloist and Cris Derksen on cello

Spécifications techniques :

The tech rider varies based on the size of orchestra and location of performance (inside or outside). Please contact us for detailed information


Date de composition:





Premiere: August 2015, The Harbourfront Center West Jet Stage - For Planet Indigenous

The Orchestral Powwow Project has performed in Halifax, Ottawa, Regina, Calgary, Vancouver, Vancouver Island, and Yellowknife.

Juno-nominated in Instrumental Category


Juno nominated Cris Derksen, originally from Northern Alberta, Canada, is an internationally respected Indigenous cellist and composer. Derksen braids the traditional and contemporary, weaving her classical background and her Indigenous ancestry together with new school electronics to create genre-defying music. As a composer she has her foot in many worlds working in choral, symphonic, film, theatre and dance, with a new commission from the Calgary Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra premiering in 2020. As a performer Derksen performs nationally and internationally. Recent destinations include Hong Kong, Australia, Mongolia, Europe, Mexico and a whole lot of Canada: the place Derksen refers to as home.


+1 514 276-2694

107, boul. St-Joseph Ouest
Montréal (Québec)
Canada  H2T 2P7

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