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OrganistInternationally acclaimed compositor, organist and improviser, Thierry Escaich plays a prominent role on the contemporary music scene. Taking the three facets of his art as one integral whole, he uses them to reflect his prolific inner world.
Born in 1965, Thierry Escaich has received enthusiastic acclaim from 1990 for his early compositions such as his saxophone concerto Le Chant des tenebres and Ad ultimas laudes for mixed chorus.
The prizes have continued to come, among them, on two occasions, in 2003 and 2006, the Victoires de la Musique Composer of the Year award.
Today, his works number over a hundred pieces of music, charming audiences with their rejection of sterile experimentation, their hedonistic echo and their rhythmical fever.
His music has been internationally acknowledged by soloists including Claire-Marie Le Guay, Bertrand Chamayou, Eric Le Sage, Emmanuel Pahud, Olivier Latry, Renaud and Gautier Capucon, the Wanderer and Dali Trios, the Ysaye, Ludwig and Voce Quartets, the Sequenza 9.3 and A Sei Voci vocal ensembles and Radio France’s chorus.
His music has also been performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin Konzerthaus and the Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France. Thierry Escaich has recently completed a violin concerto dedicated to David Grimal, and is currently writing a concerto for clarinet for Paul Meyer and a ballet for the New York City Ballet.
Although largely composing for his own instrument (solo pieces, chamber music, two concertos and La Barque solaire (for organ and orchestra), Thierry Escaich remains open to all manner of genres and forms, and can frequently be found investigating new realms of sound. One can observe his very personal style in works, for example in the intimacy of Choral’s Dream (2003) for piano and organ, or in the brief Scenes de bal for string quartet and even in vast frescos such as the Chaconne (2000) and Vertiges de la croix (2004) for orchestra, Les Nuits hallucinees for mezzo?soprano and orchestra (2008) and also in Le Dernier Evangile, an oratorio for double chorus, organ and orchestra (1999).
Having been composer-in-residence at the Orchestre National de Lille and the Orchestre de Bretagne, Thierry Escaich is now composer-in-residence with the Orchestre National de Lyon, a post he has held since 2007.
He has been organist at the Eglise St-Etienne-du-Mont (Paris) since 1997, where he succeeded Maurice Durufle, Thierry Escaich tours internationally as an organist. Wherever he plays, he is acclaimed for combining works from the repertoire with his own compositions and improvisations.
Most recently, he has performed in Tokyo, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Toronto, Berlin, Amsterdam, Birmingham, Budapest and Seville as well as at numerous French and international festivals of music. For the 2009–2010 season, he has engagements in Helsinki, Munich, Hamburg, Basel, London, New York and Vancouver among other top music capitals.
His passion for cinema has led him to improvise on piano and organ and to compose for silent films, as in his musical accompaniment of Frank Borzage’s L’Heure supreme, commissioned by the Louvre in 1999.
Thierry Escaich has been Professor of Composition and Improvisation at the Paris Conservatoire since 1992, where he has been awarded eight first prizes.
His numerous recordings speak for themselves and they have all received prestigious awards. He recently distinguished himself as an organist with Organ Spectacular (concert improvisations, 2008, Universal) and Tanz-Fantasie, organ and trumpet with Eric Aubier (2009, Indesens); among his latest compositions are Lettres melees (Trio Wanderer, 2009, Universal), Miroir d’ombres (Gautier and Renaud Capucon, Orchestre National de Lille, 2007, Universal) and Exultet (Sequenza 9.3, 2006, Universal).
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