Thierry Escaich

Thierry Escaich

The composer and organist Thierry Esciach is a unique figure in contemporary music and one of the most important French composers of his time. He has composed over 100 works in a wide variety of genres and forms, which inspire a wide audience with their lyrical, harmonic and rhythmic energies. Strongly shaped by the French compositional tradition from Ravel to Messiaen to Dutilleux and permeated by references from contemporary, folk and spiritual music, the unmistakable sound world of Escaich's music is characterized by an obsessive rhythmic drive.

His works include both intimate pieces and large pieces such as his Chaconne for orchestra, the oratorio “Le dernier Évangile” and the double concerto for violin and cello “Miroir d’ombres”. His first opera "Claude" with a libretto by Robert Badinter based on Victor Hugo's "Claude Gueux" was premiered in March 2013 at the Opéra de Lyon with great success. His most recent works include the viola concerto “La nuit des chants” for Antoine Tamestit on behalf of the Dutch Radio Philharmonic and the NDR Elbphilharmonie as well as the organ concerto No. 3 “Quatre visages du temps”, which he performed in November 2017 together with the Orchester National de Lyon premiered in Europe.

Escaich's works are performed by leading orchestras in Europe and North America as well as by musicians such as Lisa Batiashvili and François Leleux, Valery Gergiev, Reneaud and Gautier Capuçon, Emmanuelle Bertrand and Paul Meyer. He was composer in residence with the Orchester National de Lyon, Orchester National de Lille and the Paris Chamber Orchestra and received four Victoires de la Musique awards (2003, 2006, 2011, 2017). Escaich teaches composition and improvisation at the Paris Conservatory, where he studied and received eight Premiers Prix. In 2013 he was given the honor of being appointed to the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

Works for organ are an important part of Escaich's work and are performed by organists around the world, including solo and chamber music, three concerts and the symphonic poem “La barque solaire” for organ and orchestra. His Organ Concerto No. 1 has been performed by orchestras such as the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Orchester National de Lyon and has been selected as the highlight of the organ concert repertoire in Gramophone.
Thierry Escaich's career as a composer is closely linked to his career as an organist - he is one of the ambassadors of the great French improvisation school after Maurice Duruflé, whom he followed as organist at the Saint Étienne du Mont in Paris. He performs internationally in recitals, combining repertoire pieces with his own compositions and improvisations. His passion for the cinema prompted him to give “cine concerts”, improvised accompaniments on the organ or piano for silent films such as “The Phantom of the Opera” or “Metropolis”.

Much of Escaich's work was recorded by Accord / Universal. Recently the critically acclaimed CD “Baroque Song” was released on Sony Classical. His 2011 album “Les nuits hallucinées” crowned his residency with the Orchester National de Lyon and received numerous awards, including the Choc de l’année des Classica Magazines as the outstanding publication of the year. The first production of "Claude" was released on DVD (BelAir Classiques).