Jean-Michel Damase

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Jean-Michel Damase
Born(1928-01-27)27 January 1928
Bordeaux, France
Died21 April 2013(2013-04-21) (aged 85)
Paris, France
Occupationpianist, composer
Alma materConservatoire de Paris
Notable awardsGrand Prix de Rome
RelativesMicheline Kahn (mother)

Jean-Michel Damase (27 January 1928 – 21 April 2013)[1] was a French pianist, conductor and composer of classical music.


Damase was born in Bordeaux, the son of harpist Micheline Kahn.[2] He was studying with Marcel Samuel-Rousseau at the age of five and composing by age nine.[3] He was admitted to the Conservatoire de Paris in 1940, studying with Alfred Cortot for piano, and won first prize for piano in 1943,[3] afterwards studying with Henri Büsser, Marcel Dupré and Claude Delvincourt for composition[3] – winning his first prize for composition in 1947, in which year he won the Grand Prix de Rome[4] (In this year he wrote his trio for flute, viola and harp which has been recorded several times.)

He made the first complete recording of Gabriel Fauré's nocturnes and barcarolles, for which he received the Grand Prix du Disque.[5]

Selected compositions[edit]

  • Symphony (1952)[6]
  • Serenade for strings (1959)[6]
  • Concerto for harpsichord or harp and small orchestra (1984)[7]
  • Concerto for viola, harp and string orchestra (1990)
Chamber music
  • Trio for flute, cello and harp (1947)[8]
  • Trio for flute, viola and harp (1947)[8]
  • Quintet for flute, harp and string trio, op. 2 (1948)[8]
  • Aria for cello (or viola, or alto saxophone) and piano, op. 7 (1949)
  • 17 variations for wind quintet, op. 22 (1951)
  • Sonate en concert for flute, piano and cello (ad libitum), op. 17 (1952)[8]
  • Trio for flute, oboe and piano (1961)
  • String Trio (1965)[8]
  • Sonata for clarinet and harp (1984)[8]
  • Vacances for alto saxophone and piano (1990)
  • Intermède for viola and piano (1990)
  • Épigraphe for viola and piano (1991)
  • Ostinato for viola and piano (1991)
  • Prélude, élégie et final for bass trombone (or tuba) and piano (1993)
  • Trio for oboe, horn, and piano (1993)
  • Trio for two flutes and piano (1997)
  • Sonata for cello and harp (2002)[8]
  • Hallucinations for viola and harp
  • Berceuse for horn and piano
  • Pavane variée for horn and piano
  • La tendre Eleonore (1958)[9]
  • Colombe (premiered 1961 Bordeaux, lyrics Jean Anouilh with Maria Murano)[9]
  • Eugène le mystérieux (1963)[9]
  • Le matin de Faust (1965)[9]
  • Madame de ... (1969)[9]
  • Euridice (premiered 1972 Bordeaux)[9]
  • L'héritière (1974)[9]
Film scores


  1. ^ see Bruneau-Boulmier, Rodolphe"Radio France Musique, "Dépêches notes"". Archived from the original on 2013-05-23.
  2. ^ see Greene, p. 1512; Lasser
  3. ^ a b c Greene, op. cit.
  4. ^ Lebrecht, Norman (1996). The Companion to 20th-Century Music at Google Books. Da Capo Press. page 86. ISBN 0-306-80734-3.
  5. ^ "Jean-Michel Damase: Emblematic Composer". Henry Lemoine. Archived from the original on 2008-11-15. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  6. ^ a b Lasser, "Chez DAMASE: Catalogue, Orchestral Works". Archived from the original on 2011-07-08.
  7. ^ a b c Lasser, "Chez DAMASE: Catalogue, Stage & Film Works". Archived from the original on 2011-07-08.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Lasser, "Chez DAMASE: Catalogue, Chamber Works". Archived from the original on 2011-07-08.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g "Stanford Opera-Web D-Composers". Retrieved 2008-12-26.