Born in 1955 in Nancy, France, Pascal Dusapin has become one of the most important and acclaimed composers in France and beyond. In his youth, he played the organ, studied music at the Sorbonne, and was interested in jazz. As a composer, however, he is essentially self-taught, though he acknowledges the influence of Iannis Xenakis, whose seminar he attended at the Université de Paris between 1974 - 1978, and Italian composer Franco Donatoni, whoRead more was at the Sorbonne in 1976. An award from the Fondation de la Vocation in 1977 enabled the young Dusapin to devote himself to composition, followed by a residency at the Villa Medicis in Rome in 1981 - 1983. He has been composing ever since, at a remarkably prolific rate.
The music of Dusapin is intensely lyrical, but in a thoroughly original style. The lines tend to be supple and elaborate, built from glissandi (sliding tones), microtones, and other coloristic techniques. His ear for texture is finely tuned, as is his architectural sensitivity to contrasts and balance of density, register, volume, and color. The melodic fluidity of his music indicates a strong attraction to the human voice, while at the same time, he has written virtually no music for piano or percussion. Dusapin's first large-scale work, Niobé, an oratorio for soprano, choir, and ensemble, dates from 1982. It has been followed by a succession of operatic projects, including Roméo & Juliette (1988), Medeamaterial (1990), La Melancholia (1991), and To Be Sung (1993). In 1994, he was named as composer-in-residence to the Orchestre National de Lyon, for whom he has written Extenso (1994) and Apex (1995). He has also composed concertos for flute, trombone, and cello, and has worked closely with chamber ensembles such as Accroche Note and Ensemble 2e2m. Read less