Boivin, Philippe

Philippe Boivin was born in 1954. He studied musicology at the Sorbonne, harmony at the Paris Conservatoire and composition with Max Deutsch. In 1985 the SACEM awarded him a prize for the best pedagogical piece, and in 1988 the Georges Enesco prize for composition. Thanks to his various activities, Philippe Boivin belongs to a generation of composers for whom the act of creation is not a restricted field of experience. His work, which is mostly turned towards chamber music, shows a great diversity of interests. His entire production however can be qualified by one adjectif, that of rigor. This can be noted both in the precision of his style as well as in the painstakingly elaborated forms into which he pours his music. This quality, however, does not prevent the instruments from expressing lyrical, dramatic and even theatrical attitudes. The twenty-odd compositions the composer has produced up till today are clearly marked by four tendancies. - The theatrical dimension underlays the music and is present in all interpretations; in certain solos it becomes a composition in itself, both visual and audible (Zab or the Passion selon Saint Nectaire for double-bass). - The pedagogical concept of certain pieces such as the Ouverture for brass orchestra or Photo de classe for 12 clarinets can be considered as « an attempt to establish a new relationship between the composer and the interpretors » by asking them to listen to each other. - Several pieces use a concept of a cyclic form, the musical material being filtered from one composition to the next. The triptych for percussion Big-Bug, Chaconne, Domino III is a particularly clear example of this concept. - At the same time Philippe Boivin’s main interest resides in shaping his sonorous structures; he uses a computor to this effect, for which he produces his own software to help composition - placing him thus among the most modern composers. Yet this doesn’t prevent him from remembering that music is also a question of movement and expression.

Cécile Gilly

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