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Murail Tristan

Born in Le Havre in 1947, he first obtained degrees in Arabic studies and economics before turning to composition, which he studied under the guidance of Olivier Messiaen. Having won the Prix de Rome in 1971, he spent two years at the Villa Médicis in Rome. Upon his return to Paris in 1973, he founded the Itinéraire ensemble with a group of young composers and performers; the group became widely renowned for its groundbreaking explorations of the relationship between instrumental performance and many aspects of electronics. In the 1980s, Murail began using computer technology to further his research into acoustic phenomena. This led him to years of collaboration with IRCAM, where he directed the composition programme from 1991 to 1997 and helped develop the Patchwork composition software. He has also taught at numerous schools and festivals worldwide, including the Darmstadt Summer Courses for New music, the Abbaye de Royaumont and the Toho University in Tokyo. He has been professor of composition at the Columbia University in New York until 2011, becoming a nominated professor of composition at the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg in 2012.


Selected works (since 1990): Allégories for six instruments and electronics (1989–90), Le fou à pattes bleues for flute and piano (1990), La dynamique des fluides for orchestra (1990–91), L’Attente for seven instrumentalists (rev. 1992), Serendib for 22 performers (1992), La barque mystique for ensemble (1993), La Mandragore for piano (1993), L’esprit des dunes for 11 instruments and electronics (1993–94), ...amaris et dulcibus aquis... for mixed choir and electronics (1995), Unanswered Questions for flute (1995), Le partage des eaux for large orchestra (1996), Attracteurs étranges for cello (1992), Bois flotté for ensemble and electronics (1997), Comme un œil suspendu et poli par le songe... for piano (1998), Feuilles à travers les cloches for flute, violin, cello and piano (1998), Winter Fragments for ensemble and electronics (2000), Le lac for ensemble (2001), Les travaux et les jours for piano (2002), Terre d’ombre for large orchestra and electronics (2003–04), Pour adoucir le cours du temps for 18 instruments and electronics (2005), Légendes urbaines for 22 instruments (2006), Les ruines circulaires for clarinet and violin (2006), Seven Lakes Drive for flute, clarinet, horn, piano, violin and cello (2006), Contes cruels for two electric guitars and orchestra (2007), Liber fulguralis for ensemble electronics and video (2008), Garrigue for bass flute, viola, cello and percussion (2008), En moyenne et extrême raison for 15 instruments and electronics (2009), Les sept paroles for orchestra, choir and electronics (2010), La chambre des cartes for eight instruments (2011), Dernières nouvelles du vent d’ouest for viola, horn, piano and percussion (2011), Lachrymae for flute and string quartet (2011), Paludes for five instruments (2011), Le désenchantement du monde for piano and orchestra (2012), The Bronze Age for six instruments (2012).