Xenakis, Iannis

Composer, architect, civil engineer, Iannis Xenakis was born on 29 May 1922 in Braila (Romania). Resistant WWII and sentenced to death, he is a political refugee in France since 1947 and became a French citizen since 1965.

He studied at the Polytechnic Institute in Athens before embarking on studies Gravesano musical composition with Hermann Scherchen, then at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris with Olivier Messiaen. From 1947 to 1960 he was assistant of Le Corbusier as an engineer and architect.

Inventor of musical concepts masses, stochastic music, music symbolic introduced with the probability calculus and set theory in music composition intrumentales, he was one of the first to use the computer to calculate of musical form. Also a pioneer in the field of electro-acoustics, author of more than a hundred works for all training, it now appears as one of the most radical avant-garde, who invented the most compositional techniques characteristic of the music after 1945, but also one of the few designers whose vitality has never denied, and which, moreover, gained a large audience.

Architect of the Philips Pavilion at the Brussels World Fair in 1958 and other architectural achievements such as the Convent of La Tourette (1955), he composed Polytopes - sights, sounds and lights - for the French Pavilion at Expo of Montreal (1967), for the show Persepolis, mountains and ruins of Persepolis, Iran (1971), for Polytope de Cluny, Paris (1972), for Polytope of Mycenae ruins of Mycenae, Greece (1978), for Diatope the inauguration of the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (1978).

He is founder and president (1965) of the Centre for Mathematical and Automatic Music (CEMAMu) of Paris, Associate Professor of Music at Indiana University, Bloomington (1967-1972) and founder of the Center for Mathematical and Automated Music (CMAM), Indiana University, Bloomington (1967-1972), He is also researcher at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Paris (1970), Gresham Professor of Music, City University London (1975) and professor at the University of Paris - Sorbonne (1972-1989).

Some of his works:

Kassandra (1987)
second part of Oresteïa from texts of Eschyle
for baritone (amplified) playing on a psaltérion with 20 strings and percussionniste
Editions Salabert - On hire

Pléïades (1978)
for 6 percussionists
Editions Salabert - On hire
Pleïades on Youtube

Jonchaies (1977)
for 109 musicians
4(2pic).4(2cor ang).6(clpic, 2clB, clCB).4(2cbn)- 6.4.4(2trbT, 2trbB).1(tbCB), timb, 5perc, crd (
Editions Salabert - On hire

Nuits (1967)
sumerian, assyrian, achean and other phonemes
for 12 mixed solo voices or mixed choir
Editions Salabert - On purchase
Nuits on Youtube

Terretektorh (1965-66)
for 88 musicians scattered among the audience
3(pic).3.3(clpic, clB).3(cbn)-, 3perc, crd (, each musician also has : 1 wd-bl, 1 fouet, 1 maracas, 1 sirène Acmé
Editions Salabert - On hire
See the manuscript

Iannis Xenakis on Youtube

Iannis Xenakis  


Free photographs exclusively for promotional purpose. Commercial use strictly prohibited. The reproduction rights for regular commercial practice must be imperatively subjected at the authorization of the photographer.

Our Composers
artists_page.rosterLetters = ['A','B','C','D','E','F','G','H','I','J','K','L','M','N','O','P','Q','R','S','T','U','V','W','X','Y','Z','Other']; artists_page.rosterInit(['A','B','C','D','E','F','G','H','I','J','K','L','M','N','O','P','Q','R','S','T','U','V','W','X','Y','Z','Other']); artists_page.noresults="No Results"; artists_page.otherkey = "Other";