Commissions & Premières
Born in Le Havre in 1947, French composer Tristan Murail received advanced degrees in Classical and North African Arabic from the Ecole Nationale des Langues Orientales Vivantes, as well as a degree in Economic Science, while pursuing his musical studies at the same time. In 1967, he became a student of Olivier Messiaen at the Conservatoire de Paris, and also studied at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris. In 1971, he was awarded the Prix de Rome, and later received First Prize in composition from the Conservatoire de Paris. He spent the next two years at Villa Medici in Rome.
Upon his return to Paris in 1973, he co-founded Ensemble L’Itinéraire with a group of young composers and instrumentalists. The ensemble quickly gained recognition for its fundamental research in the area of instrumental performance and live electronics. In the 1980s, Tristan Murail used computer technology to further his research in the analysis and synthesis of acoustic phenomena. He developed his own system of microcomputer-assisted composition, and collaborated with Institut de Recherché et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM), where he taught composition from 1991 to 1997, and took part in the conception of the computer-assisted composition programme Patchwork.
In 1997, Tristan Murail was named Professor of Composition at Columbia University in New York, where he taught until 2010. He continues to give masterclasses and seminars all over the world, was guest professor at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg for three years, and is currently guest professor at the Shanghai Conservatory.