Thierry Escaich

Composer, organist and improviser, Thierry Escaich is one of the major representatives of the new generation of French composers. The three aspects of his art are inseparable, which allows him to combine creation, improvisation and interpretation in the most diverse combinations in his concerts.

His work includes about a hundred pieces. Following in the footsteps of Ravel, Messiaen and Dutilleux, and incorporating contributions from popular music or elements of sacred inspiration, Escaich’s sound world is based on an obsessive rhythmic drive and powerful architectures.

His very personal style can be seen in the intimacy of his chamber music as well as in vast frescoes such as Chaconne for orchestra, the oratorio Le Dernier Évangile and the double concerto for violin and cello Miroir d’ombres. His first opera, Claude, based on a libretto by Robert Badinter after Victor Hugo’s Claude Gueux, was premiered at the Opéra national de Lyon in 2013 to critical acclaim.

Thierry Escaich’s works are included in the repertoire of the greatest orchestras in Europe and the United States, and in the repertoire of musicians such as Lisa Batiashvili and François Leleux, Valery Gergiev, Paavo Järvi, Alan Gilbert, Alain Altinoglu, Louis Langrée, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Emmanuelle Bertrand and Paul Meyer. He has been composer-in-residence at the Orchestre national de Lyon, the Orchestre national de Lille and the Orchestre de chambre de Paris and has received five Victoires de la musique. Since 1992 he has taught improvisation and composition at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Paris, where he has won eight first prizes. In 2013, he was elected to the Academy of Fine Arts of the Institut de France. In 2018 he was the featured composer at the Radio France festival Présences in Paris.

His career as a composer is closely linked to his career as an organist, following in the footsteps of Maurice Duruflé – whom he succeeded as titular organist of Saint-Étienne-du-Mont in Paris; he is today one of the main ambassadors of the great French school of improvisation. He performs in recital throughout the world, mixing works from the repertoire with his own compositions and improvisations.