Iannis Xenakis

Most Popular Works
Psappha (11)
Tetras (5)
See all

Biography

Born: May 29, 1922; Braïla, Romania   Died: February 4, 2001; Paris, France  
Iannis Xenakis was a composer of Greek heritage and Romanian birth, known for his revolutionary ideas regarding the systematic, mathematical organization of music and its structural parallels with architecture, and for his pioneering work in electronic music. Xenakis' initial exposure to music came in the first ten years of his life, when he was surrounded by the folk music of the Romanian countryside and the liturgy of the Byzantine Orthodox Read more Church. In 1942, when his family moved to Greece, he was exposed to the music of Beethoven and Brahms for the first time.

His life grew turbulent when he entered Athens Polytechnic with the intent of becoming an engineer. When Greece was invaded during the World War II, Xenakis became passionately involved with resistance and liberation groups, first protesting against Nazi rule and, later, opposing the British, who, in 1944, drove out the Germans but sided with right-wing politicians against the Greek National Liberation Front. Xenakis was seriously wounded, his face disfigured, when he was hit by a British shell; he also lost vision in one eye. As a member of the resistance, he was eventually arrested and sentenced to death. He escaped in 1947, hoping to reach the United States. He ended up settling in Paris, however, and taking French nationality. In Paris, Xenakis made numerous important contacts, befriending Messiaen, Honegger, Mihaud, and the celebrated architect Le Corbusier, who were all impressed by his innovative and brilliantly intellectual approach to music. Working with Le Corbusier, Xenakis was highly involved with civil planning and architecture, designing some landmark sites throughout the world. For him, architecture was musical, and music was architectural. He frequently used one to inspire the other, basing pieces on computer programs and complex mathematical equations. This approach resulted in highly theoretical, systematic music characterized by intricately calculated rhythms, dense and often explosive textural fields, extended timbral effects, and "clouds" of sound that contain countless "particles." Some of his most important works include the orchestral Metastasis (1954), Pithoprakta (1956), Nomos Alpha for solo cello, and groundbreaking electronic works such as Bohor I, and Concret P-H. Xenakis was the founder of the EMAMu in Paris and its American counterpart, the Center for Musical Mathematics and Automation in Bloomington, Indiana. His last composition, written a few years before his death, is titled O-Mega (1996). His daughter, Mâkhi Xenakis, is an artist. Read less
Xenakis: Medea, Nuits, Etc / Wood, New London Chamber Choir
Release Date: 03/10/1998   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 66980   Number of Discs: 1
On sale! $21.98
CD: $14.99
Low Stock
On sale!   $21.98   CD:  $14.99 Add CD to Cart

There are 98 Iannis Xenakis recordings available.

Select a specific Work or Popular Work below

or

Works



YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In