Thierry Escaich was born in 1965. Studied at the Conservatoire National de Paris, where since 1992 he has taught classes in improvisation and composition. In 1997 he became a staff organist at Paris’ Église Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, succeeding Maurice Maurice Duruflé.
This very personal style encompasses both intimate works and large-scale pieces, such as Chaconne for orchestra; oratorio Le Dernier Évangile and a double concerto for violin and cello, Miroir d’Ombres. His first opera Claude, on a libretto by Robert Badinter after Victor Hugo's Claude Gueux, was premiered at the Opéra de Lyon in March 2013 to great acclaim. His most recent new works include a Viola Concerto, La Nuit des chants, for Antoine Tamestit commissioned by Netherlands Radio Philharmonic and NDR Elbphilharmonie, and Organ Concerto No.3, Quatre Visages du temps which received its European premiere by Escaich and Orchestre National de Lyon in November 2017.
Thierry Escaich’s works are performed by leading orchestras in Europe and North America and by musicians such as Lisa Batiashvili and François Leleux, Valery Gergiev, Paavo Järvi, Alan Gilbert, Alain Altinoglu, Louis Langrée, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Emmanuelle Bertrand and Paul Meyer. Escaich has been Composer-in-Residence with the Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchestre National de Lille and the Paris Chamber Orchestra and his music has been honoured by four Victoires de la Musique awards (2003, 2006, 2011 and 2017). Escaich continues to teach composition and improvisation at the Paris Conservatoire, where he himself studied and obtained eight ‘premiers prix’. In 2013 received the honour of being appointed to the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris; in 2018 he was featured composer at the Radio France Presences Festival in Paris.
Works for organ are an important feature of Escaich’s music and they are performed by organists around the world, including solo and chamber works, three concerti and the symphonic poem La Barque Solaire for organ and orchestra. Escaich’s Organ Concerto No.1 has been performed by orchestras such as the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Orchestre National de Lyon, and was selected as a highlight of the organ concerto repertoire in Gramophone.
Thierry Escaich’s career as a composer is closely linked to his career as an organist. He appears in recitals internationally, combining repertoire pieces with his own compositions and improvisations. His passion for cinema has led him to perform ”cine-concerts”, improvised accompaniments on both the organ and piano for silent films such as Phantom of the Opera and Metropolis.
Highlights of the 2018-2019 season include his first season as Composer in Residence at Orchestre d’Auvergne which sees a focus on Escaich’s works throughout the season and a new commission in seasons ahead. Escaich performs widely in recital this season with appearances at Rotterdam’s Gergiev Festival, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Philharmonie Luxembourg, Cologne Philharmonie, Lotte Concert Hall Seoul, Atlanta and Montreal among others.
Many of Escaich’s works have been recorded by Accord/Universal. Most recently, the disc Baroque Song was released on Sony Classical to critical acclaim. His 2011 release Les Nuits hallucinées crowned his residence with the Orchestre National de Lyon, and received numerous distinctions, including a Choc de l’année from Classica magazine as an outstanding release of the year. The first production of Claude was released on DVD (BelAir Classiques).
Information for October 2018