Fabien Lévy

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Fabien Lévy
Birth nameFabien Lévy
Born1968 (age 50–51)
Paris, France
GenresContemporary classical

Fabien Lévy (born 11 December 1968) is a French composer.


Lévy was born in Paris, France. After having been a jazz pianist, he studied composition with Gérard Grisey, orchestration with Marc-André Dalbavie and ethnomusicology with Gilles Leothaud at the Conservatoire de Paris from 1996 to 2000. In 2001, he went to Berlin on the DAAD Artist program, and in 2002 to the Villa Medici / Academy of France in Rome. In 2004 he shared the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize in composition with Johannes Maria Staud and Enno Poppe. A former pedagogical advisor at IRCAM in Paris and professor of orchestration at the Hanns Eisler Music Conservatory in Berlin, he was 2006-2012 assistant professor in composition at Columbia University in New York, was 2012-2017 senior professor for composition at the Hochschule für Musik Detmold in Germany, and is since oct. 2017 senior professor for composition at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater 'Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy' Leipzig. He has held numerous composition seminars and lectures in Europe (including Berlin, Como, Royaumont, Darmstadt, Tchaikovsky city, and Paris) and the US (including at Harvard University, Carnegie Mellon, Northwestern University, Manhattan School of Music, and Cornell University).

His instrumental works, influenced by the spectral school, some acoustic illusions and techniques from various non-Western cultures, mainly focus on paradoxes of perception and musical grammatology, and on techniques of "cross-rhythms" generalized to every musical parameter and "instrumental pointillism", and on deconstructing major concepts of the Western music. While using new technologies, he has also developed some "meta-works" (such as Soliloque sur [x, x,...]).

Catalog (excerpt)[edit]

  • Murmelt mein Blut, for Soprano and piano (2018)
  • Quand Friselda et son voisin, erotic Canon for 6 voices (2017)
  • Nun hab' ich nichts mehr, for soprano, accordion, electric guitar and piano (2016)
  • Als Gregor und Griselda, erotic canon for six voices (2015)
  • à tue-tête for nine in space wind instrumentents (2014)
  • Towards the door we never opened, for saxophone quartet (2013)
  • Danse polyptote, for cello and accordion (2013)
  • Après tout, for six singers, flute, saxophone, accordion, electric guitar, percussion and cello (2012)
  • A peu près de, for two trumpets (2010)
  • A propos, for flute, clarinet, piano, violin & cello (2008)
  • Pour orchestre, for big orchestra (2008)
  • Lexèmes hirsutes, for cello solo (2007)
  • Querwüchsig, for ensemble (2007)
  • Tre volti del volubile Ares, for wind symphonic orchestra (2006)
  • Les murmures d'une orchidée solitaire, for two Guqin, Chinese flutes, hammond organ, harp, violin & cello (2004)
  • Risâla fî-l-hob wa fî'lm al-handasa, ["Small treatise of love and geometry"] for flute, clarinet, euphonium or tenor saxophone, violin & cello (2003)
  • Soliloque sur [X, X, X et X], commentaries from a computer about a misunderstood concert (2002) (webpage for the metawork Soliloque)
  • Hérédo-ribotes, for solo viola and 51 orchestra musicians (2001)
  • Où niche l'hibou ?, small pedagogical pieces for a young student and his teacher (for two saxophones or two flutes or two clarinets) (1999)
  • Coïncidences, for ensemble of 33 musicians (1999)
  • Durch, in memoriam G. Grisey, for saxophone quartet (1998)
  • L'air d'ailleurs-Bicinium, for alto saxophone and tape (1997)
  • Dr.B., for baritone and bassoon. Musical theater, inspired by "die Schachnovelle" by Stefan Zweig (1996)
  • Les deux ampoules d'un sablier peu à peu se comprennent, for solo amplified harp (1996)

Former students (selection)[edit]

References and external links[edit]

  • "Fabien Lévy biography" (in French). IRCAM.
  • Wikipedia website in French
  • Publisher's website: Ricordi Berlin
  • Publisher's website: Billaudot
  • Columbia University Website
  • Personal website of the composer