Composer of the Year at the OEK, 2016-2017
Escaich composes in many genres and forms, always exploring new sound horizons. His catalogue numbers over 100 works which, with their lyrical, rich harmonies and rhythmic energy, have attracted a wide audience. Drawing from the French line of composition of Ravel, Messiaen and Dutilleux, and imbued with references from contemporary, folk and spiritual music, the distinctive sound-world of Escaichfs music is anchored by an obsessive rhythmic drive and an overarching sense of architecture.
This very personal style encompasses both intimate works and large-scale pieces, such as Chaconne for orchestra; oratorio Le Dernier ?vangile and a double concerto for violin and cello, Miroir dfOmbres. His first opera Claude, on a libretto by Robert Badinter after Victor Hugo's Claude Gueux, was premiered at the Op?ra de Lyon in March 2013 to great acclaim. His most recent new works include a double concerto for Lisa Batiashvili and Francois Leleux co-commissioned by NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg and the New York Philharmonic, Psalmos, a concerto for orchestra, premiered by Cincinnati Symphony, and Organ Concerto No.3 which receives its world premiere by Escaich and Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa in 2017.
His works are performed by leading orchestras in Europe and North America and by musicians such as Lisa Batiashvili and Fran?ois Leleux, Valery Gergiev, Lothar Zagrosek, Renaud and Gautier Capu?on, Emmanuelle Bertrand, Paul Meyer, John Mark Ainsley and the Quatuor Voce. 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 three eVictoires de la Musiquef awards (2003, 2006 and 2011). Since 1992, Thierry Escaich has taught composition and improvisation at the Paris Conservatoire, where he himself studied and obtained eight epremiers prixf. In 2013 he received the honour of being appointed to the Acad?mie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He is Artistic Director of the Mariinsky International Organ Festival.
Thierry Escaichfs career as a composer is closely linked to his career as an organist, which has led him to be one of the ambassadors of the great French school of improvisation, in the wake of Maurice Durufl?, whom he succeeded as organist of Saint-?tienne-du-Mont in Paris. He appears in recitals internationally, combining repertoire pieces with his own compositions and improvisations. His passion for cinema has led him to perform ecine-concertsf, improvised accompaniments on both the organ and piano for silent films such as Phantom of the Opera and Metropolis.