Composer and conductor Yves Prin was born in France in 1933.
Yves Prin studied piano with Yves Nat and conducting with Louis Fourestier at the Paris Conservatory where he was awarded several First prizes.
Assistant to Bruno Maderna at the Mozarteum in Salzburg from 1968 to 1969. This close relationship with the Italian maestro prompted him to devote most of his career to contemporary music.
Guest conductor of the Lamoureux Orchestra as well as the orchestras in The Hague and Haarlem, Netherlands, from 1969 to 1973.
Music director of the Orchestre Philharmonique des Pays de la Loire from 1970 to 1973. During his tenure, he conducted works by an impressive list of composers: Ravel, Debussy, Stravinsky, Messiaen, Xenakis, Lutoslawski, Donatoni, Berio, Stockhausen, Penderecki, Varèse, Maderna.
Music Director of the Atelier Lyrique du Rhin and Guest conductor for the Ensemble Itinéraire from 1974 to 1980.
Music Director of the Nouvel Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France from 1981 to 1983. Producer at Radio France (1984-1991) for the contemporary music concert series Musique au Présent, Musiques en Perspectives, Musiques du XXe Siècle. Artistic director then Director of Radio France’s Festival Présences (1992-1999).
His meeting with Bruno Maderna in Darmstadt in 1968 had an important impact on his work as composer. In the wake of this encounter, Yves Prin produced new works among which Au souffle d’une voix for soprano and orchestra, the oratorio Hymnus 68, the Mobiles series and Éphémères for violin and orchestra. In these works, serialism is not called upon systematically but rather used to free the musical language from tonality and polytonality.
He also pursued his conducting activities, premiering works by André Boucourechliev, Georges Aperghis, François-Bernard Mâche, Ahmed Essyad, Michaël Levinas, Paul Méfano, Philippe Hersant.
In 1978, he works with Pierre Boulez at the IRCAM in Paris taking part in the first training course in new technologies and research in order to become familiar with computerized sound production.
Composition takes over conducting activities again as well as the urge to step out of serialism. Dioscures after Michel Tournier’s novel, is a turning point for Prin and with its « lyric-pointiilist » style, marks the beginning of his second period (1977-1986). He then composes Le Souffle d’Iris, concerto for flute and orchestra, the string quartet La Barque, In Praise of Flight, concerto for piano and orchestra, Cinq Haïkaï for piano.
Prin’s current third period, starting in 1998, emphasizes drama in music linked to emotion expressed in literary and poetic sources. This leads to his first song cycles based on poems by Silvina Ocampo: De Amor desesperado, Jean- Pierre Siméon: Les Amants, Pablo Neruda: Cuatro sonetos de amor and traditional Sirandanes créoles. Five other song cycles will follow, as well as stage music, musicodramas, pedagogically oriented pieces and an opera Seta (Silk) after Alessandro Baricco’s novel.
Prin’s production enjoys worldwide exposure : Le Souffle d’Iris, concerto for flute, was premiered in Sofia, La Barque, string quartet, has been performed in Ottawa, In Praise of Flight, concerto for piano, in South Bend, and Berlin, Mobile 3 was performed in Barcelona and Cologne, Mobile 4c in Bucarest and Lisbon, Mobile 4b at the MoMA in New York, De Amor desperado at the Juilliard School in New York. Éphémères, caprice for violin and orchestra, in Moscow at the prestigious Bolshoi Zal of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Tango-Fusion in Buenos Aires, Cinq Haïkaï in Kyoto, Cuatro sonetos de Amor in Tashkent.
Yves Prin was awarded the Florent-Schmitt Prize from the Académie des Beaux-Arts in 1997.
Photo : © Patricia Dietzi