The internationally acclaimed composer, organist and improviser Thierry Escaich plays a prominent role in the contemporary music creation. Considering the three facets of his art as bound together, he uses them to reflect his prolific inner world.
Born in 1965, Thierry Escaich received enthusiastic recognition in 1990 for his early compositions, such as the saxophone concerto Le Chant des ténèbres (The Song of Darkness), and Ad ultimas laudes for mixed choir. In both 2003 and 2006 he was the recipient of the Victoires de la Musique Composer of the Year award. Today, his work includes a hundred pieces known for their rejection of sterile experimentation, their hedonistic echo and their rhythmical fever. His music is internationally acknowledged by soloists such as Claire-Marie Le Guay, Bertrand Chamayou, Éric Le Sage, Emmanuel Pahud, Olivier Latry, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, as well as the Wanderer and Dali Trios, the Ysaÿe, Ludwig and Voce Quartets, the Sequenza 9.3 and A Sei Voci vocal ensembles, and Radio France’s choir. His works have been performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin Konzerthaus, and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.
Composing largely for his instrument (solo pieces, chamber music, two concertos, La Barque Solaire for organ and orchestra), Thierry Escaich is also open to all genres and forms, always investigating new universes of sound. His style ranges from the intimacy of Choral’s Dream (2003) for piano and organ and Scènes de bal for string quartet to vast frescos such as the Chaconne (2000) and Vertiges de la croix (2004) for orchestra, Les Nuits hallucinées (The Hallucinated Nights) for mezzo-soprano and orchestra (2008), and Le Dernier Évangile (The Last Gospel), an oratorio for double choir, organ and orchestra (1999). He has just 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.
Thierry Escaich has held the position of Professor of Composition and Improvisation at the Paris Conservatoire since 1992, where he has been awarded eight First Prizes. Since 1997 he has also been the organist for the St-Étienne-du-Mont church in Paris, succeeding Maurice Duruflé. He tours internationally as a concert organist, acclaimed everywhere for combining classic repertoire with his own compositions and improvisations. Recently he has appeared in Tokyo, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Toronto, Berlin, Amsterdam, Birmingham, Budapest, Seville, and numerous French and international music festivals. His 2009/2010 season concerts will include Helsinki, Munich, Hamburg, Bale, London, New York and Vancouver.
A former Composer in Residence with the Orchestre National de Lille and the Orchestre de Bretagne, Thierry Escaich has been with the Orchestre National de Lyon since 2007. His passion for cinema has led him to improvise on the piano and the organ, and to compose accompaniments for silent films such as Frank Borzage’s L’Heure suprême, commissioned by the Louvre in 1999.
His numerous recordings speak for themselves and have received numerous awards. He has recently distinguished himself as an organist with Organ Spectacular (concert improvisations, 2008, Universal) and Tanz-Fantasie, organ and trumpet with Éric Aubier (2009, Indésens), and as a composer with recordings of Lettres mêlées (Trio Wanderer, 2009, Universal), Miroir d’ombres (Gautier and Renaud Capuçon, Orchestre national de Lille, 2007, Universal) and Exultet (Sequenza 9.3, 2006, Universal).
Current as of March 2010