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Nicolas Bacri (1961-); FRA

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Born in november 1961, Nicolas Bacri is the composer of some one hundred works in many genres. He has received such recognition as Prix de Rome (two years scholarship, Villa Medici, 1983-85), Prix Stéphane Chapelier (S.A.C.E.M.), Prix André Caplet de l'Académie des Beaux Arts, Prix Pineau-Chaillou 1991 (City of Nantes), Prix Hervé Dugardin (S.A.C.E.M.), Grand Prix de la Nouvelle Académie du Disque 1993, Prix Georges Wildenstein de l'Académie des Beaux Arts, Lauréat de la Fondation d'Entreprise du Crédit National (Natixis), Casa de Velazquez (two years scholarship, Madrid, 1991-93), Prix Pierre Cardin de l'Académie des Beaux Arts, Prix Claude Arrieu (S.A.C.E.M.), Lauréat du 5ème Concours Jeunes Artistes Européens : Young composers, Leipzig (B.P. Oil Europe) and, last but not least, Grand Prix de la Musique symphonique 2006 (S.A.C.E.M.). Recent important commissions have come from French Ministry of Culture, Radio-France, Orchestre des Jeunes de la Méditérannée, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Pro Quartet... His orchestral works have been performed, among others, by Orchestre National de France, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, WDR Sinfonie Orchester-Köln, English Chamber Orchestra, Munich Chamber Orchestra, European Camerata, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Collegium Musicum Bruggensis, Liège Philharmonic orchestra... With such conductors as Kees Backels, Martin Brabbins, Semyon Bychkov, Daniel Harding, Richard Hickox, Jean-Jacques Kantorow, Louis Langrée, Leonard Slatkin, Yann-Pascal Tortelier, Pascal Verrot... Cds containing N. Bacri's music released since fifteen years includes (mainly) First, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth string quartets, Fourth Symphony (Classical Symphony "Sturm und Drang"), Concerto for cello and orchestra, Second Concerto for violin and orchestra, Une Prière, for violin and orchestra, Flute Concerto, Concerto da camera for clarinet and strings, Concerto amoroso, Concerto Nostalgico, three piano Trios, Sonatas for violin and piano, for cello and piano, for viola and piano etc... "After studying music analysis and composition with Françoise Gangloff-Levéchin, Christian Manen and Louis Saguer (from 1979), he entered the Paris Conservatoire (graduated 1983, first prize for composition), where his teachers were Claude Ballif, Marius Constant, Serge Nigg and Michel Philippot. During a two-year residency at the Académie de France in Rome (1983-85) he met Scelsi, who had a great influence on him. From 1987 he was at the head of the chamber music department of Radio-France, a position he relinquished in 1991 to devote himself entirely to composition. He had also held residencies at the Casa de Velasquez (Spain) and with a number of French orchestras (from 1993). His early works, which culminate with the First Symphony (1983-4, dedicated to Elliott Carter), are rooted in a constructivist post-Webernian aesthetic. Later compositions, beginning with the Cello Concerto (1985/87, dedicated to Henri Dutilleux), draw on the melodic continuity displaced by the predominant aesthetic of the postwar period. This change of style has placed Bacri in the musical aesthetic of his time, where a spirit of reconciliation prevails." (Philippe Michel, Grove Dictionary of Music, edition 2001)


Whatever the school or current to which they claim allegiance, contemporary composers may for the most part be classified according to two main esthetic trends. Many of them coin their style under the influence of spontaneism and according to the hedonistic drive that is characteristic of our consumer society ; those are often want to try to restore an idiom or writing methods that once were attractive to a relatively large audience of music lovers. Some others are dominated by a non-negotiable radicality and contend that artists must resolutely be the spearheads of society, even if that means cutting themselves from it, as long as it has not been able to incorporate the new codes that they put in place ; these composers often claim post-Webernian inheritance of integral serialism. However, this alternative does not account for the whole of the musical landscape, which is fortunate. Many artists contunuously affirm their independence vis-à-vis both of these trends ; they often do so by emphasis expressiveness, witout resorting obvious effects or clichés, as do a number of neo-tonal composers with delight, and conversely, without prioritising totalitarian and total rationality at the expense of expressiveness. Among those who seek genuine, original paths, Nicolas Bacri stands out by his thought process whose sincerity is authenticated not only by the artistic restlesnes which drives him to continuously wonder about the aims of his art and put into questions his composition habits, but also by esthetic choices that appear as a necessary consequences of a musical reflection and practice - as opposed to the incidental fallout of ideological presuppositions. (Bernard Fournier)

Nicolas Bacri
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  • Orchestral Works
    • Concertos
    • Symphonies
  • Piano Works
  • Vocal Works
  • Chamber Works
Below are works by N.Bacri that every music lover should explore:
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