Philippe Manoury: French composer (1952-) | Biography
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Philippe Manoury
French composer

Philippe Manoury

Philippe Manoury
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro French composer
Is Musician Composer
From France
Field Music
Gender male
Birth 19 June 1952, Tulle
Age 71 years
The details (from wikipedia)


Philippe Manoury (born 19 June 1952) is a French composer.


Manoury was born in Tulle and began composition studies at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris with Gérard Condé and Max Deutsch. He continued his studies from 1974 to 1978 at the Conservatoire de Paris with Michel Philippot, Ivo Malec, and Claude Ballif. In 1975, he undertook studies in computer assisted composition with Pierre Barbaud (fr), and joined IRCAM as a composer and electronic music researcher in 1980. From 2004 until 2012, Manoury served on the composition faculty at the University of California, San Diego, where he taught composition, electronic music, and analysis in the graduate program. After retiring from teaching at UCSD, he currently lives in Strasbourg, France.


Manoury's work is strongly influenced by Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Iannis Xenakis, and his early work from 1972–76 combines serial punctualism with the densely massed elements characteristic of the music of Stockhausen and Xenakis, and the paintings of Jackson Pollock. Works such as Sound and Fury are of interest because of the use of computer-assisted composition. Sound and Fury also uses a very large orchestra, which is symmetrically disposed, and makes quite extensive use of left-right spatial effects.

Since the 1980s, Manoury has been closely associated with the American computer researcher Miller Puckette, first at IRCAM and subsequently at UCSD. The Sonus ex machina series of works, which were developed in collaboration with Puckette, are among the first pieces to utilize real-time audio signal processing, and his 1988 piece Pluton was the first ever composition using Puckette's groundbreaking software MaxMSP.

His Abgrund—pour grand orchestre was commissioned by the Bavarian State Opera together with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and premiered by the Bavarian State Orchestra on November 26, 2007. It has been described as "a work that will neither disturb nor annoy [...] a pleasant and perhaps harmless string of dissonant semi-climaxes, little jolts, and resting phases. It has an invigorating effect, is easy to concentrate on . . .". In it "Manoury [...] mercifully knows how to use [the abundance of percussion instruments] in ways far more discriminately than his contemporaries beholden to one bongo-frenzy after another". "Philippe Manoury hit[s] the right mix between shallow and deep, melodic and dissonant, placating and strident, stasis and progress, simplicity and complexity. The steady run-up—stop—tighten—burst—relax scheme may not be novel at all, but it paid dividends [in 'Abgrund']".


  • Manoury, Philippe. 1998. La note et le son: Écrits et entretiens, 1981-1998, with a foreword by Danielle Cohen-Lévinas. Musique et musicologie: Les dialogues. Paris: L'Harmattan. ISBN 2-7384-6985-X
  • Manoury, Philippe. 2001. Entretiens avec Daniela Langer. Paris : Musica falsa. ISBN 2-9512386-3-0

Selected compositions

  • 60e parallèle for 9 singers, large orchestra and electronics (1995–96)
  • K… (2001)
  • La frontière, chamber opera for 6 singers, 9 instruments and electronics (2003)
  • La nuit de Gutenberg, opera in a prologue and 12 scenes. Premiered at the Opéra national du Rhin, Strasbourg, 24 September 2011
Orchestral works
  • Numéro huit, op. 8 (1980, revised 1987)
  • Pentaphone, 5 Pieces for large orchestra, op. 24 (1993)
  • Prelude and Wait (1995)
  • Sound and Fury (1999)
  • Echo-Daimónon, for piano, electronics and large orchestra (2011–12)
  • Bref Aperçu sur l'Infini for cello and orchestra (2015)
Chamber music
  • Numéro cinq for piano and 13 instruments, op. 5 (1976)
  • Instantanés (1983)
    • Version La Rochelle, op. 10a (1983)
    • Version étude, op. 10b (1983)
    • Version Baden-Baden, op. 10c (1985)
  • La Partition du ciel and de l’enfer, op. 19 (1989)
  • Passacaille pour Tokyo for piano and 17 instruments (1994)
  • Fragments pour un portrait, 7 Pieces for ensemble of 30 instruments (1998)
  • Épitaphe for 7 instruments, op. 29 (1995)
  • Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man for 10 instruments (2004)
  • Identités remarquables for 23 instruments (2005)
  • Strange Ritual for 21 instruments (2005)
  • Focus (1973)
  • Le tempérament variable (1978)
  • String Quartet, op. 6 (1978)
  • Musique I for 2 harps, guitar, mandolin and 2 percussionists (1986)
  • Musique II for 7 brass ( and 2 marimbas, op. 14 (1986)
  • Petit aleph (1986)
  • Solo de vibraphone (1986)
  • Le livre des claviers, Six pieces for 6 percussionists (1987)
  • Deux mélodies (1988)
  • Michigan Trio for clarinet, violin and piano (1992)
  • Gestes for string trio (1992)
  • Métal for sixxens sextett (1995)
  • Ultima for clarinet, cello and piano (1996)
  • Last for bass-clarinet and bass-marimba (1997)
  • Stringendo for string quartet (2010)
  • Tensio for string quartet (2010)
  • Chaconne for solo cello and 6 cellos (2015)
Live electronics
  • Zeitlauf for choir, 14 instruments and electronics, op. 9 (1982)
  • Jupiter for flute and live electronics, op. 15a (1987, revised 1992)
  • Pluton for piano and live electronics (1988, revised 1989)
  • Neptune for 3 percussionists and live electronics, op. 21 (1991)
  • En écho for soprano and live electronics (1993–1994); words by Emmanuel Hocquart
  • Partita I for viola and live electronics (2006)
  • Sonata for 2 pianos (1972, revised 1994)
  • Cryptophonos (1974)
  • Puzzle (1975)
  • Toccata (1998) from de « Passacaille pour Tokyo »
  • La ville (…Première sonate) (2001–2002)
  • Veränderungen (…Deuxième sonate…) (2007)
  • Aleph for 4 singers and orchestra (1985–87)
  • Xanadu for soprano and clarinet (1989); words by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • Chronophonies I and II for mezzo-soprano, baritone-bass and large orchestra (1994)
  • Douze moments for mezzo-soprano and large orchestra (1998)
  • Slova for choir (2001–2002)
  • Fragments d'Héraclite for choir (2003)
  • Noon for soprano, choir, large orchestra, and electronics (2003)
  • Blackout, Melodrama for alto and 13 instruments (2004)
  • On-iron for choir, electronics and video (2005)


  • Quatuor à cordes – Quatuor Arditti MFA, Harmonia Mundi, C 5139, 1984
  • Cryptophonos – Claude Helffer (pno) MFA Harmonia Mundi, C 5172, 1986
  • Petit Aleph – Pierre-André Valade (Flute), ADDA, 581 075, 1988
  • Zeitlauf – Groupe Vocal de France, Ensemble Intercontemporain, conducted by Peter Eotvös, Erato, ECD, 75552, 1990
  • Le livre des claviers – Les percussions de Strasbourg, Philips Classics, 444 218-2, 1993
  • Epitaphe – Ensemble FA, conducted by Dominique My, MFA 216007, 1995
  • Jupiter and La Partition du Ciel et de l'Enfer – Sophie Cherrier (flute) and Ensemble Intercontemporain. Conducted by Pierre Boulez. In Compositeurs d'aujourd'hui, Adès, 206 062, 1996
  • Pluton – Ilmo Ranta, piano, Technique Ircam Ondine Records, ODE 888-2, 1996
  • 60ème parallèle – Orchestre de Paris, conducted by David Robertson, Naxos 8.554249/50, 1997
  • En écho and Neptune – Donatienne Michel-Dansac (soprano); Roland Auzet, Florent Jodelet, and Eve Payeur (percussion), Technique Ircam ACCORD, 465 526-2, 1998
  • Complete Chamber Music – Ensemble Accroche Note, Assai 222052, 2002

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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