Michel-Dansac, Donatienne

began her musical education by playing the violin and piano; she joined the Maîtrise de l’Opéra de Nantes at the age of 7. She entered the CNSMD in Paris at 19 and obtained her Prix de Chant there. At the age of 21 she performed Berio’s Laborintus II with Ensemble intercontemporain conducted by Pierre Boulez. This memorable encounter awakened her passion for the contemporary repertoire, although she continued to interpret classical and Baroque pieces as well. She met Georges Aperghis in 1992, for the creation of Sextuor. In 2001 she was the first to perform the full score of the 14 Récitations pour voix seule at the Konzerthaus in Vienna (CD by ColLegno). She went on to perform, among others, La nuit en têteMachinationsRash, Avis de tempêteContretempsHappiness DailyLes Boulingrin (“Donatienne Michel-Dansac nds the role of a lifetime with Félicie”; wrote Pierre Gervasoni in Le Monde), Tourbillons (CD by Umlaut) La tête en basPour GabrielleWild Romance, and Pubs-Reklamen. She performed Le marteau sans maître by Pierre Boulez, conducted by François-Xavier Roth, to mark the composer’s 90th birthday. 

Her keen interest in contemporary art has brought her into contact with many visual artists. She works on musical forms, films and presentations in connection with their work, as well as performances/conferences held in museums. In 2016–17 she performed in Munich (Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Grisey and Zender), Cologne (Philharmonie, Gürzenich-Orchester under F. X. Roth / U. Chin and Aperghis), Berlin (Boulezsaal under F. X. Roth, Boulez’s Le marteau sans maître), Milan (MilanoMusica, Grisey’s 4 Chants pour franchir le seuil). 

She teaches at the IMD Darmstadt and is a Regents’ Lecturer at the UC Berkeley. She has been honoured with the title of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.