HIP Debussy and Ravel : The Eroica Quartet

Eroica Quartet Peter Hanson violin 1 Julia Hanson violin 2 Vicci Wardman viola In Britain, the Eroica Quartet, founded in 1993 by four of the country's leading period-instrument performers, have the field virtually to themselves. Three of the members are principals in John Eliot Gardiner's Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique (which specialises in early 19th-century repertoire) and … Continue reading HIP Debussy and Ravel : The Eroica Quartet

Maurice Duruflé : The Last Impressionist

Maurice Duruflé (11 January 1902 – 16 June 1986) was a French composer, organist, and teacher. Although he was born in 1902 and died in 1986, Maurice Duruflé is not a typical 20th-century musician. Compared with other great composers of his day — Bernstein, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Britten — he seems strangely out of touch with … Continue reading Maurice Duruflé : The Last Impressionist

Francis Poulenc : Born today in 1899

Today is the birthday of French composer Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc, born in 1899. Poulenc has always had a special place in my heart ever since I first heard his music my first year at music school.  Prior to my formal music studies my background had been in jazz and R&B.  While I had a … Continue reading Francis Poulenc : Born today in 1899

Pierre Henry : pioneer of musique concrète, born today

Pierre Henry was born in Paris, France, and began experimenting at the age of 15 with sounds produced by various objects. He became fascinated with the integration of noise into music. He studied with Nadia Boulanger, Olivier Messiaen, and Félix Passerone at the Paris Conservatoire from 1938 to 1948 (Dhomont 2001). Between 1949 and 1958, … Continue reading Pierre Henry : pioneer of musique concrète, born today

Germaine Tailleferre : only female composer of “Les Six”

Germaine Tailleferre believed that a composition must be lacking in artistry if a listener couldn’t identify a composer’s style after three bars. A prolific composer in a wide range of genres, she forged a distinctive musical voice characterised by clarity, spontaneity and light-hearted charm. Germaine Tailleferre was born April 19. 1892 at Saint Maur Des … Continue reading Germaine Tailleferre : only female composer of “Les Six”

Mark Andre : French composer living in Germany

Mark Andre was born in Paris in 1964, where he studied at the École Normale Supérieure (writing a thesis on “Le compossible musical de l’Ars subtilior”) and with Claude Ballif and Gérard Grisey at the Paris Conservatoire (First Prize in Composition). Later he studied with Helmut Lachenmann at the Stuttgart University of Music, where he … Continue reading Mark Andre : French composer living in Germany