Old version of Jacques Lenot / new version is to be translated soon

Jacques Lenot was born in Saint-Jean-d'Angély, western France, and has a highly unusual musical background. He is in fact an autodidact, although his path has crossed those of Stockhausen, Ligeti and Kagel in Darmstadt, Bussotti in Rome, and Donatoni in Sienna. He is totally dedicated to the creative process (with no instrumentalist or conductor), and independent of any cultural institution (the only official post he has ever had… briefly… was as a teacher). Since Diaphanéis was premiered at the Royal Festival in 1967, with the support of Olivier Messiaen, he has imposed a form which is complex, tormented, very meticulous in the detail of the nuance, the attack, and the rhythm. Lenot sums up this form as being of serialist origin, but which he tries to broaden to his own specific universe. Instrumental virtuosity is essential in his work, and Jacques Lenot works more and more often with the artists who premiere his works in order to push them further and further to the limit. Yet whatever the degree of abstraction of his works, they reveal a poetic universe of rare intensity.

In 1992 the Department of Gers in France offered him a post as resident composer which enabled him to accomplish various projects: conferences, training sessions, educational activities, during which 109 educational works for the organ were created. During this time he also wrote a large number of works for the piano, which have not yet been premiered, as well as his Second and Third Books for the Organ (performed by six organists at St. Eustache Church in Paris on December 15, 1995 for his 50 th birthday).

In 1997 he was invited to go and live in Groffliers, in the Calais region of France, where he has devoted himself to more ambitious compositions: works commissioned by the Lyon National Orchestra and the Symphonic and Lyric Orchestra of Nancy, his first string quartet, premiered at the New York Guggenheim Museum in December 1998, and finally his first opera, commissioned by the Grand Théâtre of Geneva. The subject of this opera had at first been accepted and then refused, after completion, by his legal beneficiaries.

In the year 2000 Jacques Lenot decided to move to Roubaix, northern France, where he has been working simultaneously on several projects: a piece for the Brittany Orchestra, commissioned by Musique nouvelle en liberté (Free New Music) and the Sacem (French Writer and Composers association), a cello concerto for Marc Coppey, commissioned by the Liege Philharmonic Orchestra, premiered in Liege and in Lille in December 2002, a tribute to Franco Donatoni for the Villa Medici in Rome, a bassoon solo for Pascal Gallois, played live on France Musiques and performed several times, an aria for the Lalo Quartet (formed by members of the Lille National Orchestra), a piece for the 80 th birthday of the pianist Claude Helffer.

The General Council of the Nord Department in northern France commissioned from him a “sound installation” for the temporary exhibition “ The Twilight of the Gods ” at the museum and archaeological site of Bavay, which was inaugurated in June 2003. This experience was for him an initiation into studio music, different techniques and mixings of his own recorded music.

He has just completed a new opera for the Grand Théâtre of Geneva, J'étais dans ma maison et j'attendais que la pluie vienne ( I was inside my house waiting for the rain to come ), based on the work by Jean-Luc Lagarce.


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