Pierre Henry Biography

Born: December 9th, 1927 in Paris, France.

After most traditional studies in the Academy of Paris, with Olivier Messiaen (harmony) and Nadia Boulanger (composition), Pierre makes, in 1949, the decisive meeting of Pierre Schaeffer, with whom he founds the GRM (Group of musical research), dedicated to the experimentation in "concrete music". It is besides in collaboration with Schaeffer that it will in particular write the Symphonie pour un homme seul (1950) and the "concrete" opera Orphée (1951), taken again later (1953) with the astonishing sequence Le Voile d'Orphée", where one finds already the stretching of the duration, characteristic of his style, and the presence of the death, which will not cease inspiring him. After having founded his own studio Apsomé, he undertakes a long collaboration with the choreographer Maurice Béjart (Messe pour le temps présent). Working initially in the direction of a certain purification, with the ballet Le Voyage (1962), according to the Tibetan Book of Dead, and the famous Variations pour une porte et un soupir (1963), he returns to a certain baroquism with the Messe de Liverpool (1967-68) and the Apocalypse de Jean (1968), or works of a readily disproportionate ambition like the Dixième symphonie, gigantic joining of extracts of the nine symphonies of Beethoven (1979), or the spectacle of the Noces chymiques (1980), he is at the same time the type-setter and the director.

By his fruitfulness, his taste of excess and his extraordinary imagination, Pierre Henry is regarded as the largest type-setter of electroacoustic music of our time ; he is also one of the great creators of today.

Owner of Studio Son/Ré.

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