Derek Charke (flutes) and Eugene Cormier (guitar) formed the Charke ~ Cormier Duo in 2014 culminating in a debut recital at the KC Irving Centre in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Both performers are highly accomplished musicians who are on the teaching faculty at Acadia University’s School of Music. This sonorous union of flute and guitar continues to charm audiences across the Maritimes. Their repertoire includes many of the most important works for this pairing of instruments, and creates a sonic journey for audiences from the street corners of Argentina to the halls of Europe, as well as introducing fresh new works created today.
Their critically acclaimed debut CD, Ex Tempore, was released in 2018 through Leaf Music, Halifax. Here they curate a charming program that includes an original composition by Charke and arrangements of Scarlatti and Peter Maxwell Davies by Cormier paired with works by Debussy, Handel and Brazilian-Canadian composer Celso Machado. The album and the composition Ex Tempore were nominated for two ECMA Awards for Classical Album of the Year and Classical Composition of the Year (2019).
Derek often writes music for the duo. So far he has composed three works: Ex Tempore, The Equation of Time, and Bathymetric Terrains—an exciting multi-media work for soundscape, multi-tracked flutes and guitars. Eugene has arranged various works by Scarlatti, Davies, and Haydn. In 2018 the duo began a publishing agreement with Doberman-Yppan in Québec to release their sheet music under the Charke ~ Cormier Duo Collection. The Scarlatti Sonatas and the work Ex Tempore have since been released.
The duo has performed various works by Canadian composers including Celso Machado and Anne Lauber, and they premiered a work dedicated to them by Nova Scotian composer, Adam Langille. They have received funding from Arts Nova Scotia and Acadia University.
“Flutist Derek Charke and guitarist Eugene Cormier perform with intelligence and passion in their debut release. Both teach at Acadia University, and are well respected Maritime musical personalities. Here they play, produce, engineer and master terrific, clear, stylistically diverse music. This is a fabulous debut!”
Tiina Kiik, WholeNote Magazine, Aug. 2018
“Just in case you’re thinking an entire album of music for flute and guitar might be a bit much—think again! The pair has brought together a diverse program that takes you on a musical journey. They draw together compositions and arrangements from various eras and regions, keeping the sound fresh and engaging from beginning to end. Be sure to check out this first album from the Charke-Cormier Duo—it’s well worth a listen!”
Fr. Paul Rideout, The East Magazine, May 2018
“The Cormier~Charke Duo played in our Neil-Michaud hall last week and this was one of the most interesting concerts of this year’s series. The repertoire, the sound quality, the complicity of the artists were just awesome. This duo is dynamite, the music flows easily and vividly, the whole concert passed as in a few minutes, keeping the audience intent and watchful : the best feeling one wishes to have when attending a concert. Our Dept. of music can’t wait for their next show”
Michel Cardin, Feb. 2016
Eugene Cormier is an award-winning classical guitarist, a dedicated educator and an avid computer programmer. Eugene lives in Wolfville,Nova Scotia where he is currently a full-time instructor of classical guitar, music technology, theory and rock history at Acadia University. A frequent adjudicator at music competitions such as The Montreal International Guitar Competition and the Canadian National Music Festival, Eugene is in demand as a solo performer, chamber musician, accompanist and studio musician.
Spending his formative years in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Eugene first discovered his love of the guitar from his father. He went on to study classical guitar with Ken Davidson at Acadia before continuing under world-renown pedagogue Eli Kassner in Toronto. After this Eugene spent his summers traveling to guitar festivals where he had the opportunity to learn from some of the finest players in the world.
Eugene enjoys music typesetting and currently serves as the musical engraver for Soundboard, the quarterly magazine published by the Guitar Foundation of America. A fanatical vinyl collector, Eugene has well over 15,000 records. www.eugenecormier.com
Derek Charke is a JUNO and ECMA award-winning composer and flutist. Derek has a growing catalogue of high-profile commissions and performances, including several by Canada’s major symphony orchestras, as well as an impressive list of other performers and organizations.
Derek is currently a professor of composition at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, he is co-director of the Acadia New Music Society, and he continues to actively perform as a soloist and new music improviser on the flute. Equally at home performing cutting-edge contemporary music or participating in free improvisation as he is performing Bach or Vivaldi, Derek received a Masters degree in flute performance from SUNY Buffalo where he studied with the late Cheryl Gobbetti Hoffman.
Derek has performed as a soloist with the Slee Sinfonietta (Buffalo, NY) and GroundSwell (Winnipeg, MB), amongst others. He currently performs in the Charke-Cormier Duo. He is also a member of the resident Acadia New Music Ensemble WIRED! which released its first album Live Wired! in 2015. His Kitchen Party CD with percussionist Mark Adam won the 2015 East Coast Music Award for Classical Recording of the Year. www.charke.com