Jacques Castérède

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Jacques Castérède (10 April 1926 in Paris – 6 April 2014 in Dijon)[1] was a French composer and pianist.

He studied at Lycée Buffon in Paris. He earned his baccalauréat in elementary mathematics, then entered Paris National Conservatory of Music in 1944 and began studying piano under Armand Ferté, composition under Tony Aubin, and analysis under Olivier Messiaen. While at the conservatory, between 1948 and 1953 he received five first prizes (in piano, chamber music, analysis, composition, and harmony classes). He also won the Grand Prix de Rome in 1953 with his cantata La boîte de Pandore (Pandora's Box). The following year, he went to Rome, where he stayed at the Villa Medici until 1958. In 1960, he was appointed as a professor of solfège in the Paris National Conservatory, then counseller of piano study (Conseilleur aux Etudes) in 1966, and analysis in 1971. In addition, he taught composition at the Ecole Normale from 1983 to 1988, and analysis from 1988 to 1998. On an invitation from Chinese government, he became a professor of composition at the Central Academy in Beijing. He received numerous awards as a composer, among them the Paris Civil Award in 1991, the Charles Cros Award, and the Record Academy Award in 1995. His many works, which include symphonies, concertos, ballets, and ensemble and chamber music, are performed throughout France, Germany, and Italy as well as in the United States and Canada. His music is essentially melodic, often using modal scales over rich and varied structures.

Main Works[edit]


  • Chamber Opera 'The Parace of Miracle' la cour des miracles (1954) {sop, msp, alto, btn, orch}
  • Oratorio 'The book of Job' le livre de Job (1958) {recit, tnr, btn, bss, choir, orch}
  • Ballet 'Basketball' (1959) {hrp, p, perc, orch}
  • Ballet 'Goal', But (1959)


  • String Symphony No.1, 1ère symphonie pour cordes (1952) {strings}
  • 'La folle nuit de n'importe ou' (1955) {orch, clvcn, hrp, perc}
  • 'A Great Fear', La grande peur (1955) {martenot, 2p, child-choir, sop, fl, orch}
  • 'Five Symphonic Dances', Cinq danses symphoniques (1956) {orch, p, hrp}
  • 'Music for a Novel of Poe', Musique pour un conte d'Edgar Allan Poe (1957) {hrp, clsta, xylo, vib, p, recit, orch}
  • 'Three Movement Suite in the Memory of Honegger', Suite en trois mouvements à la memoire d'Honegger (1957)
  • 'Rubens's Picture of Jesus's Descent from the Cross', La déscente de croix de Rubens (1958)
  • Symphonic Suite 'Ariane's Yarn', Le fil d'Ariane (1959)
  • Symphony No.2, Symphonie No.2 (1960)
  • Prelude and Fugue, Prélude et fugue (1960) {strings}
  • 'Pamplemousse' (1962)
  • 'Sophie-Dorothée' (1962)
  • 'Promenade of Spring', Promenade printaniere (1963)
  • 'Summer Divertimento', Divertissement d'été (1965) {p, hrp, brass, choir, perc?}


  • Piano Concerto No.1, Concerto No.1 pour piano et orchestre à cordes (1954) {p, strings}
  • Concertino (1958) {tp, tb, p, perc, strings}
  • Piano Concerto No.2, Concerto No.2 pour piano et orchestre (1970) {p, orch}
  • Guitar Concerto, Concerto pour guitare et orchestre (1973) {g, orch}
  • 'Three Fall Scenes', Trois paysages d'automne (1982) {vc, strings}
  • Guitar Concerto No.2, 2ème Concerto pour guitare et orchestre (1988) {g, orch}


  • Intermezzo (1953) {ob, p}
  • Pastorale (1953) {as, p}
  • Scherzo (1953) {as, p}
  • Wind Quintet, Quintette à vent (1953) {fl, ob, cl, hrn, bssn}
  • Sonatine for Trumpet and Piano, Sonatine pour trompette et piano (1953) {tp, p}
  • 'Mythologic Suite', Suite mythologique (1954) {3martenot, p}
  • Violin Sonata, Sonate pour violon et piano (1955) {vln, p}
  • Sonata in the form of Suite, Sonate en forme de suite (1955) {fl, p}
  • Clarinet Sonata, Sonate pour clarinet et piano (1956) {cl, p}
  • Oboe Sonata, Sonate pour haubois et piano (1957) {ob, p}
  • Sonatine for Trombone and Piano (1957) {tb, p}
  • 'Prelude and Dance', Prélude et danse (1959) {3tb, tba, p, perc}
  • 'Concertant Fantasy', fantaisie concertante (1960) {b-tb¡¡(tba), p}
  • 'Music', Musique (1960) {fl, vln, vla, vc, hrp}
  • 'Capriccio' (1961) {vln, p}
  • 'The Impostor', La fileuse (1961) {bssn, p}
  • Twelve Studies, douze études (1961) {fl}
  • 'Holiday of Flutists', Flûtes en vacances (1964) {3fl (4fl)}
  • 'Ondes' (1962) {martenot, p, perc}
  • Sonatine for Tuba and Piano, Sonatine pour tuba et piano (1963) {tba, p}
  • 'Interferences' (1963) {p, perc}
  • 'Hell', Ténèbres (1963) {recit, p, 3perc}
  • "Six pièces brèves en duo pour deux Trompettes" (1965, 2 tpt)
  • Viola Sonata, Sonate pour alto et piano (1968) {vla, p}
  • 'Arithmophonie' (1974) {4perc}
  • 'Before the Dawn', Avant que l'aube ne vienne (1975) {2vln, vla, vc, p}
  • 'Sonatine of April', Sonatine d'avril (1985) {fl, g}
  • 'Three Visions of Apocalypse', Trois visions de l'Apocalypse (1986) {7 brass, org}
  • Les Heures Calmes, 3 Pieces for 1, 2 and 3 violas (1987)
  • 'Three Musical Moments after Corot' trois moments musicaux d'après Corot (1987) {fl, cl, vln, vc, p}
  • String Quartet, Quatuor 'Pro tempore passionis' (1988) {2vln, vla, vc}
  • String Quartet Piece, Quartettsatz (1989) {2vln, vla, vc}
  • 'Sonatine of May', Sonatine de mai (2001) {fl, hrp}
  • 'Homage for Pink Floyd', Hommage aux Pink Floyd (-) {g}


  • Passacaille et fugue (1953)
  • 'Dance Suite', Suite à danser (1953) {2p (diverse inst)}
  • Four Studies, Quatre études (1957)
  • Variations (1960)
  • Diagrammes (1961)
  • 'Crosses on Fire', Feux croises (1963) {2p}
  • Piano Sonata, Sonata pour piano (1967)
  • Toccata
  • 'Pianologie' (1977)
  • 'Homage to T.Monk', Hommage à Thelonious Monk (1983)
  • 'The Course of Sun', La course du soleil (1992)
  • 'For the Tomb of Chopin', Pour un tombeau de Frédéric Chopin (1992)


  • '3 Melodies on Poems of Paul Fort', Trois mélodies sur des poèmes de Paul Fort (1951)
  • '3 Fanfares for Napoleon's Proclamation', Trois fanfares (1952) {recit, chamber (11brass), timp, perc}
  • 'Song of Love-Pain', La chanson du mal-aime (1960) {recit, btn, 4f-vo, chamber}
  • Chamber Cantata 'The other side of the World', Cantate instrumentale 'l'autre bout du monde' (1960)
  • 'Four Poems of Robert Desnos', Quatre poèmes de Robert Desnos (1965) {btn, p}
  • 'Litanies of Living and Dead', Liturgies de la vie et de la mort (1980) {3vo, choir, strings, perc}
  • 'Jusqu'à mon dernier souffle' (1986) {narr, choir, brass, perc}
  • 'Psalm No.8', Psaume VIII (1987) {sop, vc, org}
  • 'Hymn Song for the Creation', Cantique de la création (1994) {2vo, brass, strings, org, perc}
  • 'Dans les abîmes de l'absence' (1996) {btn, p}
  • 'Our Father, I Will Entrust You', Mon père je m'abandonné à toi (1997) {4vo}


  1. ^ « Jacques Castérède est mort » sur Qobuz.com, 8 avril 2014

External links[edit]