Pemi Paull has been performing extensively as a soloist and chamber musician, nationally and internationally, for more than 20 years, cultivating deep roots in Canada’s contemporary, historical, chamber music and improvised music communities, as well as Montreal’s indie community. Pemi Paull is a true 21st century artist. He is the founder and artistic director of Warhol Dervish, an original and unorthodox chamber music collective based in Montreal. Pemi's activities have brought him to the forefront of Canada's contemporary music world, where he is a member of two important new music ensembles, Bradyworks and SMCQ, and played previously in the pioneering KORE ensemble, led by Michael Oesterle and Marc Couroux. In addition, Pemi has premiered many works for viola by composers including Scott Godin, Andre Ristic, Rose Bolton, Emily Hall, and Nicolas Gilbert, Michael Oesterle, Cassandra Miller and Tim Brady, as well as dozens of ensemble works over the years. 

Pemi frequently collaborates with musicians outside of the classical world, such as Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire, Chilly Gonzales, Patrick Watson, Lukas Ligeti, Ben Shemie/SUUNS and has recorded with many Canadian recording artists like Socalled, Barr Brothers, Ben Caplan, Hey Rosetta, to name a few. With growing frequency and critical acclaim, Pemi is one of the few violists in the world to present full programs of unaccompanied repertoire for viola, covering more than three centuries, from the early baroque to new commissions. 

In the sphere of historical performance, Pemi is a member of Ensemble Caprice, with whom he has recorded seven discs for Analekta, winning one Juno (Canadian Grammy) in the process, as well as Daniel Taylor's Theatre of Early Music, and is an active member of Montreal’s early music community.

Pemi can be heard on over 60 albums, and his first solo album, Musicum Umbrarum, on Métis Islands Records, featuring music by Ligeti, Enescu, Mahler, Scott Godin and Michael Finnissy, was released to stellar reviews at the end of 2019, and is available on all streaming sites.

Pemi has been president of the Canadian Viola Society since June 2016.


Musicum Umbrarum

Pemi Paull

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Pemi Paull’s debut album, on Métis Islands Records, represents a unique collection of music for solo viola, featuring works adapted to the instrument (Enescu, Mahler), a recently commissioned piece for the viola by the Canadian composer Scott Godin, and two late- 20th century masterpieces: Obrecht Motetten III by Michael Finnissy, and, perhaps the most challenging and monumental work for the viola, the sonata for solo viola by György Ligeti.

Available on physical and digital media.

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