Jacques Chailley, born in 1910, has always lived in a highly musical milieu. In childhood already, he was familiar with the organ, the piano, the violin and the viola; his favorite musicians were early Victoria, Bach and Franck. He has also been strongly marked by the medieval civilization, and quickly learnt to admire its qualities of spirituality and coherence, without forgetting its principle musical expression, plainchant. The melodic riches that so characterize Jacques Chailley’s music have their root in that period.
Rare though it was at the times, Jacques Chailley combined musical (within and besides the Paris Conservatoire) and university studies. His professional life consists of simultaneous careers as composer and professor at the Sorbonne; he has also written several books of musical history and analysis. At the same time he has displayed great activity in the national musical institutions such as the Ministry of Culture, the C.N.R.S., the Paris Conservatoire, the Schola Cantorum, the Société Française de Musicologie ...
His attempt to bring out the elements fundamental to musical creation since the beginning of times has led him to fight vigorously against all avant-garde movements that have appeared since 1945 and abusively monopolize the title of "contemporaneo music". To them he opposes the figure of Arthur Honegger, whose musical and above all human presence is still a compelling example for him.
He denies the power of any system “to orient musical creation” and relies entirely on his musical ear. “The manner in which the musical diktats are collapsing today proves how right I have been. I put trust in the future for my music and those which sound like it.”