Acanthes 2004

5 to 18 July 2004



Composers - Performers - IRCAM - Ensemble Intercontemporain

Jonathan Harvey was born in Sutton Coldfield (United Kingdom) in 1939, and holds degrees from Cambridge and Glasgow. His early pieces drew inspiration from a variety of sources. Then in the late sixties he met Milton Babbitt who has had a major influence on his work. In the early eighties Pierre Boulez invited Jonathan Harvey to IRCAM, which commissioned four works: Mortuos Plango Vivos Voco and Ritual Melodies, for tape, Bhakti for ensemble and tape, and Advaya for cello and electronics. His opera Inquest of Love was premiered at the London Coliseum in June 1993. His fourth string quartet received its premiere at the Ars Musica festival in 2003, performed by the Arditti Quartet in collaboration with Ircam. He is currently working on a new opera on the death of Wagner with ensemble and elaborate electronics. Jonathan Harvey teaches composition at the University of Sussex. He was a guest composer at the Centre Acanthes in 2000.

© Maurice Fowall

©Guy Vivien
Philippe Manoury was born in Tulle in 1952 and studied at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris and the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. He has been a regular guest composer, researcher and professor at Ircam since 1981. He is particularly well known for his cycle of interactive pieces Sonvs ex machina which includes Jupiter, Pluton, La Partition du Ciel et de l’Enfer and Neptune. His first opera, 60e Parallèle, was first performed in 1997 at the Théâtre du Châtelet. In 2001 his second opera, K, premiered at Opéra Bastille, won the Prix de la Critique Musicale. Since 1994 he has taught numerous seminars internationally, mostly on composition. He is currently resident composer for two seasons at the Scène nationale d’Orléans. Two new works by Philippe Manoury have recently received their premieres, the chamber opera La Frontière (Ictus ensemble), and Noon, for soprano, choir and orchestra, based on poems by Emily Dickinson (Orchestre de Paris, December 2003). Since 1994 Philippe Manoury has taught numerous composition seminars internationally, and he was a guest composer at Acanthes in 1992 and 1996. He is currently resident composer for two seasons at the Scène nationale d’Orléans.

Martin Matalon was born in 1958 in Buenos Aires. He obtained his Masters degree in composition from the Julliard School in New York. His chamber opera, Le Miracle secret, based on a short story by Jorge-Luis Borges, was premiered at the Avignon festival in 1989. In 1993 he worked with Ircam and the Centre Pompidou on two exhibitions, for which he composed La Rosa profonda and the score for Fritz Lang’s film Metropolis. Immersed in the world of Luis Buñuel, he composed scores for Un Chien andalou (Las siete vidas de un gato) and for L’Âge d’or (Le Scorpion).

Martin Matalon is composer in residence of the Orchestre National de Lorraine for the period 2003/2004. He was one of the guest composers at the Centre Acanthes in 2000.


Michel Cerutti was born in 1950 in Chelles. After being awarded first prize for percussion at the Paris Conservatoire, he worked with the Orchestre de Paris and the Orchestre de l’Opéra de Rouen before joining the Ensemble Intercontemporain in 1976. He is regularly invited to perform cymbalum solo, in particular in Pierre Boulez’ Eclat/Multiples and Répons as well as works by György Kurtág and Igor Stravinsky. As a soloist he has premiered works by Philippe Schœller, Michael Jarrell (Rhizomes) and Peter Eötvös (Triangel). He teaches at the Conservatoire de Paris and also gives masterclasses, notably in New York and Canada. Michel Cerutti is also part of the teaching team of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, directed by Claudio Abbado. In 1999 he conducted Yan Maresz’ Festin for twelve percussionists, composed for the European Music Academy in Aix-en-Provence.

Sophie Cherrier was born in 1959 in Nancy, where she studied music at the regional Conservatoire, before entering the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris where she obtained first prize for flute in Alain Marion’s class and first prize for chamber music in Christian Lardé’s class. In 1983 she was awarded fourth prize in the Jean-Pierre Rampal Competition in Paris. Sophie Cherrier has been a soloist with the Ensemble Intercontemporain since 1979 and a teacher at the Paris Conservatoire (Conservatoire de Paris) since 1998.
She has given the first performance of numerous works by Pierre Boulez, Elliott Carter and Ton-Thât Thiêt. She has performed Philippe Manoury’s Jupiter, and Pierre Boulez’ …explosante-fixe… Amongst her numerous recordings Pierre Boulez’ Sonatine pour flûte et piano with Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Philippe Manoury’s La Partition du ciel et de l’enfer are particularly worthy of mention.

Alain Damiens was born in 1950 in Calais. He was awarded first prize in both clarinet and chamber music at the Paris Conservatoire and joined the Ensemble Intercontemporain in 1976. He has been involved in the creation of many contemporary works including Pierre Boulez’ Dialogue de l’ombre double and Elliott Carter’s Clarinet Concerto, which was also dedicated to him. He has performed as a soloist with Irvine Arditti, Miklós Perényi, Mitsuko Uchida, Tabéa Zimmermann and Maurizio Pollini. He has recorded works by Olivier Messiaen, Johannes Brahms, Luciano Berio, Elliott Carter, Steve Reich and Howard Sandroff. Alain Damiens gives regular masterclasses en France and abroad, and has taught at the Paris Conservatoire since 1994.

The Finnish cellist Anssi Karttunen was born in 1960. He studied under William Pleeth, Jacqueline du Pré and Tibor de Machula. With a repertoire ranging from ancient music to contemporary works, he plays the classical, baroque and piccolo cello as well as the modern instrument. A fervent supporter of contemporary music, he has contributed to the development of cello technique through his work with numerous composers and has inspired new works by Magnus Lindberg, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Martín Matalon and Luca Francesconi. As both a soloist and a chamber musician Anssi Karttunen is a regular performer at major festivals; he has also performed with renowned orchestras and ensembles such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the London Sinfonietta, the Ensemble Modern and Ensemble Avanti!.

Peter Rundel was born in 1958 in Friedrichshafen, Germany. He studied the violin under Igor Ozim and Ramy Shevelov in Cologne, Hanover and New York, and conducting with Michael Gielen and Peter Eötvös. His repertoire ranges from Monteverdi to Frank Zappa. He has been Artistic Director of the Wiener Taschenoper since 1999. He is a frequent guest conductor for major orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Bavaria, Stuttgart and Baden-Baden Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Saarbrucken and Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Austrian Radio Symphony Orchestra. He also works regularly with ensembles like the Ensemble Intercontemporain, Ictus, Remix and Musikfabrik. Several of his recordings have won awards. In particular his recording of Luigi Nono’s Prometeo and Steve Reich’s City Life won the German critics’ prize. He was also awarded the Grand Prix du Disque for his recording of Jean Barraqué’s complete works.

Ircam (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique), the musical institution linked to the Centre Pompidou, was founded by Pierre Boulez in 1969 and has been directed by Bernard Stiegler since January 2002. Its activities are based round the three main areas of research, creation and dissemination, and it brings together scientists and musicians under a single roof to explore innovative artistic approaches.
Ircam carries out fundamental research on the contribution computing, physics and acoustics can make to music. The main objective is the development of software tools to enrich the creative process for composers, and the promotion of international exchanges with major university or research institutions. Twenty to twenty-five works involving classical musicians and new technologies are produced in Ircam’s studios every year, and are then presented to the public. Ircam also runs a number of educational programmes with a broad target (a doctoral programme, an annual computer music course for composers, as well as workshops, lectures and debates). The multimedia library provides a valuable musical resource for researchers, students and music-lovers, while the Marketing and Communication Department develops new modes of distribution, supplies on-line services and software, and publishes books CDs and CD-ROMs.

The Ensemble Intercontemporain was founded by Pierre Boulez in 1976. It comprises thirty-one soloists who all share the same enthusiasm for performing new works. They work closely with composers and Ircam to explore new worlds of sound. Today the Ensemble has a repertoire of over a thousand works, ranging from 20th century “classics” to the latest contemporary works. The Ensemble commissions new works every year from many different composers, chosen by a reading committee organised jointly with Ircam. The Ensemble gives around seventy concerts annually in Paris, elsewhere in France, and abroad. It is regularly invited to perform at the major international festivals.
The Ensemble has been resident since 1995 at the Cité de la Musique in Paris. Its Principal Guest Conductor is Jonathan Nott. Alongside its wide-ranging performance activities the Ensemble is also very active with young musicians and composers.

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Acanthes 2004 - Teaching team - Participants 2004 - Suggested works for instrumental workshops - Practical information - Registration form

Concerts 2004