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Cris Derksen


Juno nominated Cris Derksen is an Internationally respected Indigenous Cellist and Composer. In a world where almost everything — people, music, cultures — get labelled and slotted into simple categories, Cris Derksen represents a challenge. Originally from Northern Alberta she comes from a line of chiefs from NorthTall Cree Reserve on her father’s side and a line of strong Mennonite homesteaders on her mother’s. 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 composer Derksen has a foot in many worlds, stepping between symphonic and chamber commissions, Film and Televisions series, Theatre and Dance composer credits- Derksen’s versatility is her asset. Recent destinations include Hong Kong, Australia, Mongolia, Sweden, and a whole lot of Canada; the place Derksen refers to as home.

Recent Commissions include:
Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto- 4 part fashion film, 35 minutes. Awasowin -warming by the fire- 20 + minute chamber piece with electro and theatre elements including audience participation commissioned by Blueridge Festival. Napi and the Rocks -A Symphonic story commissioned by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. Maada’ookii Songlines- a Mass Choral piece for 250 singers Commissioned by Luminato Festival. Ikumagiialit- performance art piece commissioned by the National Art Gallery of Canada. Kiinalik: these sharp tools-DORA Award for Best Sound Design for Theatre
As a performer Derksen performs Nationally and Internationally solo and with some of Canada’s Finest Including; Tanya Tagaq, Buffy Sainte Marie, Naomi Klein, and Leanne Simpson to name a few.