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Nicolas Bacri

Born: 1961

Nationality: French

Publisher: Chant du Monde

Photo © M. Palade


After a period marked by highly polyphonic atonalism, in which he was noticed early on by Elliott Carter as a one of the most promising young French avant-garde composers, Nicolas Bacri has, since the 1980s, described himself as a 'conservative’ composer.

Born in Paris in 1961, Bacri has composed over one hundred compositions, including six symphonies, two one-act operas, six cantatas, seven string quartets, more than fifteen concertante works, and a host of other chamber works. He was a private pupil of Louis Saguer before entering the Paris Conservatoire in 1979. There he studied under Serge Nigg and Michel Philippot until he graduated with the premiere prix in music composition in 1983. That same year he was awarded a two-year residency at the Académie de France in Rome. Later in his early professional career, Bacri would benefit from the advice of Carter and Henri Dutilleux.

From 1997 he was employed by Radio France as artistic delegate in the chamber music department where he programmed their chamber series; however, he relinquished his position in 1991 to devote himself once more to composition full time – a decision well-vindicated as shortly after he was awarded residence at the Casa Velázquez in Madrid (1991-1993). He taught orchestration at the Geneva Conservatory (HEM/HES) from 2005 to 2011 and is now Professor of Composition at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Paris.

His works have been championed by the world’s leading musicians including by the China National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Spanish National Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic, Semyon Bychkov, Daniel Harding, Yann-Pascal Tortelier, Renaud Capuçon, François Leleux, and Cédric Tiberghien. He has received several awards from SACEM (Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music) and the Académie des Beaux Arts; in 2017, Nicolas Bacri was appointed to the rank of Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters.

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