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Essyad, Ahmed

Born in Salé, Morocco in 1938, Ahmed Essyad has lived in France since 1962.

Essyad possess a vigorous double musical culture, both Arabic-Islamic - at the Rabat Conservatory, and western - at the Paris Conservatory, where from 1962 he was a pupil of Max Deutsch for composition and analysis, soon becoming a privileged disciple of the latter, who transmitted to him the great lesson of Schönberg, fortifying his innate sense of rigour, of respect for professionalism, of artistic and intellectual integrity, all of which has no doubt contributed - in addition to genuine, material problems - to limit his impeccably produced output. He effects with ever increasing perceptiveness a synthesis of Arabic-Berber music - of which he is an eminent connoisseur - and European music, as represented by the great Viennese classical-romantic tradition that culminates in Schönberg and his disciples

Vocal works form three-quarters of Ahmed Essyad’s output. Max Deutsch’s teaching confirmed his passion for the voice. For over thirty years, the precept received from his only master (in addition to his native soil) - according to whom «music is vocal, otherwise it has no existence» - has guided his composing. Another, concomitant guide has been his preoccupation with the memory of his cultural origins, imbued as they are with the presence of the soil and the people who inhabit it.

For Ahmed Essyad «a cultural synthesis which does not place the consideration of mankind in the vanguard, which does not enrich the present with new experiences, will not be able to produce the double astonishment, from one continent to another - that territory where man can at long last lose himself».

From 1991 to 1994, he was composer in residence at the Chartreuse de Villeneuve-lèsAvignon, for which he prepared a «lumière opera» with a libretto by Bernard Noël, L’Exercice de l’Amour.

Ahmed Essyad is an Officier in The «Ordre des Arts et Lettres». He is currently in residence on the island of Réunion in ordre to compose an oratorio in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery