Henri Dutilleux


Henri Dutilleux (born January 22, 1916 in Angers, France) is one of the most important French composers of the second half of the 20th century, producing work in the tradition of Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, and Albert Roussel, but in a style distinctly his own. Although his output is relatively small, its quality and originality have won international acclaim.

As a young man, Dutilleux studied harmony, counterpoint and piano with Victor Gallois at the Douai Conservatory before leaving for Paris. There from 1933 to 1938 he attended the classes of Jean and Noël Gallon (harmony and counterpoint), Henri-Paul Busser (composition) and Maurice Emmanuel (history of music) at the Paris Conservatoire.

Dutilleux won the Prix de Rome in 1938 for his cantata L'Anneau du Roi but did not complete the entire residency in Rome due to the outbreak of World War II. He worked for a year as a medical orderly in the army and then came back to Paris in 1940 where he worked as a pianist, arranger and music teacher and in 1942 conducted the choir of the Paris Opera.

Dutilleux worked as Head of Music Production for French Radio from 1945 to 1963. He served as Professor of Composition at the École Normale de Musique de Paris from 1961 to 1970. He was appointed to the staff of the Paris Conservatoire in 1970 and was composer in residence at Tanglewood in 1995 and 1998. His students include French composers Gérard Grisey and Francis Bayer, Canadian composer Jacques Hétu, British composers Kenneth Hesketh and Andrew McBirnie, and American composers Derek Bermel and David S. Sampson.

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