Focus Musique contemporaine




From June 10th till 14th 2015, l’Institut Français will organise the first Focus dedicated to contemporary music, in the framework of Manifeste, Ircam’s yearly festival. 50 foreign professionals from various countries will be invited in Paris, to experience the fertility and diversity of French musical creation.

Initiated by l'Institut français, in association with their partners – Ircam, Futurs Composés, SACEM, the City of Paris, ONDA and Bureau Export –, the Focus aims to promote the French contemporary music artists to foreign professionals (festivals and concert halls artistic directors, promoters, etc). The goal is to foster professional exchanges and collaborations, to facilitate the international development of French musicians. Priority will be given to emerging artists – composers and ensembles – currently developing their international career. The invitation of music professionals from various countries will be supported by the French cultural network abroad (French Embassies, Instituts français, Alliances françaises).

Foreign professionals taking part in this Focus will be offered the opportunity to discover French emerging artists (ensembles, orchestras, composers) through a selection of concerts from Manifeste, but also in several venues programming contemporary music in Paris, including the newly opened Paris Philharmony. They will be able to meet artists and their management through conferences, round-tables and speed-meeting sessions. Several new pieces by emerging and confirmed composers will be put forward, and several ensembles will make presentations about their forthcoming projects, in partnership with Futurs Composés and SACEM. Meetings with French programmers will be co-organised with ONDA, in order to help organising coproductions.

The Focus will also put forward the high quality work made by Ircam and the French National Centres for Musical Creation in musical softwares, conceiving digital tools to support the composers’ work. Ircam will offer the opportunity to visit their studios, and the National Centres for Musical Creation will present premieres from their composers in residence.

Concerts will include premieres by Laurent Cuniot, Michaël Levinas, and other composers from Ircam and the National Centers for Musical Creation, with ensembles such as TM+, Ars Nova, Le Balcon, ONCEIM orchestra…


Contact/further details:






    8.30pm: Ensemble Ars Nova - Georgia Spiropoulos

    Centre Pompidou - Grande Salle

    In Les Bacchantes, the vocalist Médéric Collignon incarnates several characters from Euripides’ tragedy about the return of Dionysus to Thebes. The exploration of vocal and instrumental techniques contributes to the theatricalization. “I wanted to start with the “beginning” of the voice: phonation, register, vibratory space and modes, vocal timbre, breathing, articulation. Médéric Collignon and I began a phase of vocal and experimental investigation.” Today, the scene from the Bacchantes is preceded by two creations with instrumentation—harp and timbales—that looks, by analogy, towards ancient Greece.

    © Irini Zevgoli


    Médéric Collignon voice
    Hélène Breschand harp
    Ars Nova ensemble instrumental
    Isabelle Cornélis, Elisa Humanes timbales
    Lighting Design Arnaud Yung
    Director Georgia Spiropoulos
    IRCAM Computer Music Design José Miguel Fernandez, Thomas Goepfer

    GEORGIA SPIROPOULOS Membranes, commissioned by Ars Nova ensemble instrumental Premiere
                                                 Roll… n’Roll…n’Roll, commissioned by IRCAM-Centre Pompidou et Radio France Premiere of the final version
                                                 Les Bacchantes, Opera Brut, based on Euripides


    9.30am - 1.30pm: IRCAM

    General presentation of the French contemporary music field: how public institutions and artists networks are working together, to support the creation of new pieces and their circulation, in France and abroad.

    Panel 1 : Supporting creation and composers – Moderator: Arnaud Merlin

    Panel 2 : A high-level teaching system with centers of excellence, creating links between research and composition – Moderator: Arnaud Merlin

    Panel 3 : The French contemporary music abroad: networks and cooperation – Moderator: Antoine Pecqueur


    5pm - 6.30pm: Paris Philharmony 1

    Tour with Laurent Bayle, General Manager


    6.30pm - 7.30pm: Paris Philharmony 2, Cité de la Musique

    Meeting with Ensemble Intercontemporain

    8.30pm: Ensemble Intercontemporain / Matthias Pintscher, Conductor - Répons by Pierre Boulez

    Philharmonie de Paris

    Répons, a crucial work in the spatialized music repertoire, resonates for the first time at the Philharmonie de Paris. A chamber ensemble is in the middle of the room, six soloists are placed along the periphery of the room around the audience, and six groups of loudspeakers project the electronics in real-time. The spiraling musical form and the concert hall’s architecture are mutually engaging, as is the unforgettable entrance of the six “electrified” soloists, or their suspended ending. The very antithesis of this dialogue, Mouvement, a masterpiece by Helmut Lachenmann, mingles inexorably with the paralysis of Michael Jarrell’s work for percussion from the Assonances series, a sketchbook, always open.

    © Aymeric Warmé-Janville

    Victor Hanna percussion
    Mihai Trestian cymbalum
    Samuel Favre vibraphone
    Gilles Durot xylophone
    Hideki Nagano, Sébastien Vichard pianos
    Frédérique Cambreling harp
    Ensemble intercontemporain
    Conductor Matthias Pintscher
    IRCAM Computer Music Design Andrew Gerzso, Gilbert Nouno

    HELMUT LACHENMANN Mouvement (-vor der Erstarrung)

    FRIDAY, JUNE 12th

    9.30am - 12.30am: IRCAM

    Introduction to the technological tools developed by IRCAM

    Presentation of several artistic projects produced by IRCAM

    12.45am - 2pm: Le Carreau du Temple

    Cocktail organized by Sacem


    2pm - 6pm: Le Carreau du Temple

    Emerging artists’ showcases, in partnership with Sacem & Futurs Composés



    © Eiffage construction




    Décor Sonore : Urbaphonix

    Michel Risse

    Without a word, out of nowhere, a moving five-people crew enters the street' soundscape. These explorers play, live and on-site, with the sounds, objects and people they encounter on their way. Sorts of “Street-Jockeys” without turntables or synthesizers, the musicians of Urbaphonix listen to their sonic surroundings and compose using only what is already all around us but what no one listens to.


    Ensemble Hope : XXIst Century Sacred Music

    G. Dazzi, P. Zavaro, T. Machuel, A. Labarsouque

    Music for a feminine vocal quartet (two Sopranos, two Altos) and two Cristals Baschet. Four Works composed by four composers on sacred texts of their own choice.


    Erwan Keravec : Nu Piping

    O. Bianchi, O. Strasnoy, J-M. López López

    Contemporary music for the bagpipe. Hailing from traditional bagads (Breton bands) and now an associate artist with the Théâtre de Cornouaille, the bagpiper Erwan Keravec is an insightful pioneer who has been pursuing the unexplored field of contemporary music. His tremendous Nu piping project already comprises ten original compositions.


    Trio 3D : In Bilico

    Benjamin de la Fuente

    In Bilico - meaning to be balanced precariously - is built around the idea of fusion between the timbres of the 3 musicians of the Trio 3D (onde, soprano voice & guitar), revealing new musical colours through delicacy, not to say frailty.


    Diotima Quartet / Pascal Contet

    Franck Bedrossian

    They will perfom new pieces commissioned Franck Bedrossian. The programme will be a mix between string quartet, solo accordion and quintet (string quartet with accordion).


    Ensemble De Caelis : La Part du Diable

    Jonathan Bell

    Premiered in Septembre 2014 during Festival d'Ile de France, "La Part du Diable" is a programme performed by Ensemble De Caelis, related to the theme Taboo and Forbidden... It includes music from XIIth and XIIIth century, and a contemporary piece from Jonathan Bell called "De Joye interdict" , built on top of middle age text form François Villon, for five voices a cappella.


    Amel Brahim-Djelloul / Mezwej Ensemble : Traverser

    Zad Moultaka (Onoma)

    The composer Zad Moultaka is in search of the musicality and strengths in Syrian poet Adonis' language. A path which creates links between the musicians on stage and electronics.


    Les Cris de Paris : L’Homme Armé

    Francesco Filidei, Josquin Desprez

    Twelve singers perform La Missa super l'homme armé by Francesco Filidei, dressed with military material. They turn their weapons into musical instruments and confront that visual and musical violence to the hypnotism of Josquin Desprez' Missa l’homme armé sexti toni.


    Terra Incognita

    Etienne Bultingaire, Laure Saint-Hillier

    “Terra Incognita” is based on the convergence of Etienne Bultingaire (musician) and Laure Saint-Hillier's (visual artist) ways of creating. From scratch, they imagine together their way according to the moment, the place or the atmosphere, then they jump cheerfully into the unknown.


    L’Itinéraire : Spectral Streams

    Christopher Trapani

    Ensemble L'Itinéraire initiates a Franco-American concert project around a new piece by young American composer Christopher Trapani and Partiels by Gérard Grisey, led by Canadian conductor Jean-Michaël Lavoie.


    Serge Teyssot-Gay, Charlotte Testu, Carol Robinson : The Weather Pieces

    Carol Robinson

    This cycle uses  meteorological models as inspiration for new musical forms. Rather than attempting for instance, to recreate a storm, the pieces establish an overall evolution, using electronics to integrate layers of aleatory elements with a live solo line. Tailor-made for singular performers, these works create completely fluid, expressive, and surprizing structures.



    Franck Vigroux, Antoine Schmitt

    Tempest associates the music of Franck Vigroux with the visuals of Antoine Schmitt, to create a real system-universes of pure chaos, that can be seen in the movements of millions of particles and can be heard through the roaring of air. By manipulating the internal forces of this chaos, the performers give birth to audio and visual shapes that develop in time, more or less obviously, with more or less stability.


    François Raullin Trio : “You Stay I Leave”

    F. Corneloup, R. Lopez, F. Raullin (La Forge) - A. Alvaro

    François Raulin Trio is inspired by "Ishi" , the last Indian from Yana clan, as a symbolic figure of the whole Native American genocide. They composed a musical suite for three musicians and a comedian, where writing is based on a wide variety of improvised game modes.

    8pm: Ensemble Le Balcon / Maxime Pascal, Conductor - La Métamorphose by Michaël Levinas

    Athénée Théâtre Louis Jouvet

    As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.” The famous fist lines from Kafka’s Metamorphosis inspired an entire opera imagined by Michaël Levinas, taken over today by the ensemble Le Balcon and the visual artist Nieto. How does one realize the worrying man-animal metamorphosis on stage, hybridization of vocal, instrumental, and electronics? Attracted by the “extreme triviality that gives this novel its terrifying character, an unimaginable terror”, Michaël Levinas chose a countertenor for Gregor’s childish complait, a voice strengthened and almost delayed by the electronics. An art of transition and thresholds, paradoxical polyphonies, La Métamorphose is a constantly altered state: music that “doesn’t stop falling”.

    © Nieto

    Opéra by Michaël Levinas based on the text by Franz Kafka
    Premiere of the new version
    Musical Director Maxime Pascal
    Adapted book Emmanuel Mones, Michaël Levinas, Benoît Meudic
    Director, Video Nieto
    Sound Projection Florent Derex
    Assistant producer Violeta Zamudio
    Costumes Pascale Lavandier
    Special Effects Franck Limon-Duparcmeur
    Lights Arthur Cemin
    IRCAM Computer Music Design Benoit Meudic
    Production Music Design Augustin Muller
    Le Balcon

    Gregor, countertenor Rodrigo Ferreira
    La Sœur de Gregor, soprano Elise Chauvin
    Le Père, baritone Vincent Vantyghem
    La Mère, contralto Camille Merckx
    Fondé de pouvoir et locataire, baritone Sydney Fierro
    Locataire, bass bartitone Florent Baffi
    Locataire, baritone, bass baritone Virgile Ancely
    La femme de peine, mezzo-soprano Anne Emmanuelle Davy


    10pm: Athénée Théâtre Louis Jouvet

    Meeting with Ensemble Le Balcon, Maxime Pascal and Michaël Levinas


    9.30am - 1pm: Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris (CNSMDP)

    Auditions of Musicians from the Paris Conservatoire

    With Bruno Mantovani, General Manager


    © All rights reserved


    1. Rémi Durupt, percussion
    Fritz Hauser, Die Klippe

    2. Uzumé Quartet (Haruka Inoue, Hiroé Yasui, Mai Toyama and Makoto Hondo, saxophones)
    Dai Fujikura Reach Out, for saxophone quartet

    3. Vincent Lhermet, accordion
    Mikel Urquiza, Esquisses d'échecs : ouverture française
    Philippe Hersant, Tarentelle

    4. Olivier Stankiewiecz, oboe and Alvise Sinivia, piano
    Benjamin Attahir, De l'ineffable

    5. Matteo Cesari, flute
    Salvatore Sciarrino. Come vengono prodotti gli incantesimi?

    6. Eloise Labaume, harp
    Aurelio Edler-Copes, Seul(e) for harp and voice

    7. Eun Joo Lee, violin and Matthieu Acar, piano
    Bruno Mantovani, All' ungarese for violin and piano

    8. Raquel Camarinha, soprano, and Yoan Héreau, piano
    Kaija Saariaho Quatre instants for soprano and piano,
    2nd mouvement: Douleur

    9. Rémy Reber, guitar
    J. Malaussena, (EP)Scrap
    Heinz Werner Henze, Drei Tentos, first two movements excerpted from Kammermusik 1958

    10. Denisov Duo (Marie Ythier, cello, and Carl-Emmanuel Fisbach, saxophone)
    Pedro García-Velasquez, Remos (excerpt)

    11. Adriana Ferreira, flute
    Fuminori Tanada, F for solo flute

    12. Antoine Ouvrard, piano
    Elliott Carter, Les Diversions, diptyque for unaccompanied piano

    13. Malika Yessetova, violin
    Matthias Pintscher, Ommagio a Paisiello (2nd movement)

    14. Rafal Zolkos, flute, and Justine Leroux, piano
    Pierre Boulez, Sonatine for flute and piano


    3.30pm - 5.30pm: L’Agora (Nanterre)

    Special session dedicated to the National Centers for New Music

    © Vincent Hindson


    The state label “National centre of musical creation” was founded in 1996. It confirmed the existence and durability of workplaces for composers, new works productions, research and raising public awareness to contemporary music.
    In 2014, six organisations are granted the label National centre of musical creation.
    The National centre of musical creation’s main task is to enable new music works’ realisation. They welcome composers, performers and artists of all kinds in a high quality environment and provide them with all technical need and assistance their projects require.
    National centres of musical creation are also engaged in basic and applied research with an aim at knowledge development, experimentation, development and adaptation of new tools and process of musical creation.
    In order to support the dissemination of creative works, the national centres organise or co-organise public events throughout a cultural season: concerts, cross-disciplinary performances and sound installations. It also can be done within a festival. The pursuit of partnerships, in order to set up tours, in the form of co-productions and by selling concerts and performances to concert-halls and theatres on a regional, national and international scale, also promotes the circulation of works.
    National centres also have to raise awareness, teach and deliver educational support, working together with specialised music schools and government schools. Besides, they dedicate themselves to preserve and enhance works produced in their studios.
    Supplied with all the fitted equipment for music-making and research, with recording and mixing studios, and even with a rehearsal space for some, National centres of musical creation play a leading role on the national level regarding commissions and residencies.

    Césaré, CNCM de Reims

    CIRM, CNCM de Nice

    GMEA, CNCM d’Albi

    GMEM, CNCM de Marseille

    GRAME, CNCM de Lyon

    La Muse en Circuit


    6pm - 7.30pm: L'Agora (Nanterre)

    Meeting with Dominique Laulanné (General Manager), Thierry Balasse and Laurent Cuniot (artists in residency)

    8.30pm: Ensemble TM+ / Marc Desmons, Conductor

    Maison de la Musique de Nanterre

    “Exformation” is everything that we don’t really say but think when we are silent: a gestural exchange. Creator of Gestrument for nomadic applications, Jesper Nordin imagined the control of the electronics decentralized, given to each of the ensemble’s soloists, while continuing to analyze the predominate role of the conductor whose every gesture is significant. Laurent Cuniot’s relationship with technology is one of confrontation of writing (instrumental and electroacoustic), the declination of the connection between the soloist musician with the electronics and the instrumental ensemble: from synergy to head-on opposition. A prelude, four movements, and a postlude strung together.

    © Ensemble TM+

    Geneviève Strosser viola
    Ensemble TM+
    Conductor Marc Desmons
    IRCAM Computer Music Design Serge Lemouton, Manuel Poletti

    IVAN FEDELE Immagini da Escher
    LAURENT CUNIOT Reverse Flows, commissioned by the French government Premiere
    JESPER NORDIN Sculpting the air, commissioned by IRCAM-Centre Pompidou and Grame, centre national de création musicale, as a part of the ANR INEDIT project with the support of Statens Musikwerk – Music development and heritage Sweden Premiere

    SUNDAY, JUNE 14th

    9.30am - 1pm: Le Carreau du Temple (Studio de Flore)

    Meeting with French programmers, in partnership with Onda

    The foreign programmers invited to the Focus will have the opportunity to meet French programmers dedicated to the contemporary repertoire. This meeting, co-organised by Institut Français and ONDA, aims to foster the circulation of innovative projects and international coproductions.

    The Onda - Office national de diffusion artistique (French office for contemporary performing arts circulation), is a non-profit organisation established in 1975. This association, funded by the Ministry of Culture and Communication, promotes the dissemination within France of performing arts works that are consistent with a process of contemporary artistic creation concerned with the renewal of forms, and stimulates exchanges in the field of live performance in Europe and internationally.

    Its scope of intervention covers all disciplines, whether stemming from theatre, dance, music, circus, puppetry, public space, whether these works are created in France or abroad, and whether they are aimed at adults or children.

    Onda's activities are focused on four main areas: expertise and advice, meetings, financial support, and European and international artists


    11am - 1pm: Le Carreau du Temple (Le Jules)

    Speed-meetings with French artists


    1pm - 3pm: Le Carreau du Temple (Le Jules)



    3pm - 5pm: Le Carreau du Temple (Le Jules)

    Speed-meetings with French artists


    5.30pm: Le Carreau du Temple (Auditorium)

    Meeting with Orchestre National de Jazz (ONJ)

    6pm: Orchestre National de Jazz / Olivier Benoit

    Le Carreau du Temple - Auditorium

    A sort of nomadic “work in progress” that has been a common thread throughout his mandate as the head of the ONJ (2014-2017), Olivier Benoit offers his program EUROPA, a series of “city portraits”, a subjective look at the kaleidoscope that is the contemporary European musical landscape. After Paris and Berlin, the ONJ presents the third stop along its ambitious voyage. Dedicated to Rome, this new chapter explores the territories of contemporary music. Olivier Benoit called upon two composers for this project, a Frenchman—Benjamin de la Fuente—and an Italian—Andrea Agostini. Two composers from the same generation, both lovers of Rome, that reflect a leaning in contemporary music, a part of a current artistic trend that uses unconventional approaches: improvisation, use of diverse musical materials, collaborative approaches for certain projects, a fixed look at performance.

    © Denis Rouvre


    Andrea Agostini & Benjamin de la Fuente compositions

    Olivier Benoit Artistic Director, guitar
    Jean Dousteyssier clarinets
    Alexandra Grimal tenor and soprano saxophones
    Hugues Mayot alto saxophone
    Fidel Fourneyron trombone
    Fabrice Martinez trumpet
    Théo Ceccaldi violin
    Sophie Agnel piano
    Paul Brousseau keyboards
    Sylvain Daniel electric bass
    Éric Echampard drums

    8.30pm: Rendez-Vous Contemporains

    Eglise Saint-Merry

    Les Rendez-Vous Contemporains are a series of concerts and screenings dedicated to contemporary creation. Founded in 2010 by Frédéric Blondy and Marguerite Lantz, and settled into the prestigious Eglise Saint-Merry, the Rendez-Vous Contemporains is a platform where french and foreign internationally renowned musicians meet, surrounded by contemporary classical music, improvised music, experimental music, electronic music and electro-acoustic music. Beyond its strong attachment to transversality, one of the main goals of Rendez-Vous Contemporains is to withdraw some sound practices from the underground network they are trapped in, and to offer them an opportunity, a stage up to their significance in contemporary art field.


    ONCEIM orchestra (Orchestre de Nouvelles Créations, Expérimentations et Improvisation Musicales)

    Hubbub quintet

    e-SaxBow duet



    © All rights reserved

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