Photo : Michel Blanc
Born in Caen in 1968, Eric Tanguy has become one of the most widely performed and broadcasted French composers of our days. A student of Horatiu Radulescu, he subsequently completed his education with Ivo Malec, Gérard Grisey and Betsy Jolas at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris, from which he graduated in 1991.
Eric Tanguy has been distinguished with numerous awards and prizes along the years. In November 2012, he has received the “Grand prix de la SACEM”, the highest distinction for achievements throughout a career, and in April 2014 the Composers’ “Grand prix des Lycéens” awarded by high school students from all across France. He was twice declared “Composer of the Year” at the Victoires de la musique classique (in 2004 and 2008).
He was also the recipient of the Stipendienpreis in Darmstadt (1988), the “Villa Medicis hors les murs” prize (1989), the Prize of the French-German Cultural Council (1991), the Villa Medicis Competition (1992), the Kranichstein Musikpreis in Darmstadt (1992), the André-Caplet Prize of the Institut de France (1995) and the Hervé-Dugardin Prize of the SACEM (1997).
A resident of the Académie de France in Rome (1993-1994), Eric Tanguy was a guest of the Tanglewood Music Center (1995) on a special invitation from Henri Dutilleux. He was composer in residence in Champagne-Ardenne (1995), in Lille (1996), at the Orchestre de Bretagne (between 2001 and 2003) and at the Festival des Arcs (2011). He was guest composer at the Festival “Aspects des Musiques d’Aujourd’hui” in Caen (2007) and the Holstebro Festival in Denmark (2012). In 2015, he was resident composer at Kone Foundation (Saari residence) in Finland, and Guest composer at Open Chamber Music in Prussia Cove (Great Britain) at the invitation of Steven Isserlis.
His output comprises more than hundred works to this day, ranging from solo pieces to concertos, vocal pieces and symphonic works. They have been included into the repertoire of major performers of our time: conductors (Alain Altinoglu, Lionel Bringuier, Semyon Bychkov, Jesús López Cobos, Paul Daniel, Sofi Jeannin, Paavo Järvi, Theodor Guschlbauer, jurjen Hempel, Louis Langrée, Seiji Ozawa, Michel Plasson, Jean-Jacques Kantorow, Marko Letonja, Ariane Matiakh, Ville Matvejeff, Pascal Rophé, François-Xavier Roth, Christopher Russel,Yutaka Sado, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Heinrich Schiff, Stefan Sanderling, Otto Tausk), soloists (Piotr Anderszewski, Nicholas Angelich, Suzana Bartal, Frank Braley, Renaud et Gautier Capuçon, Henri Demarquette, Anne Gastinel, Ivry Gitlis, François-Frédéric Guy, Natalia Gutman, François Leleux, Igor Levit, Vahan Mardirossian, Emmanuel Pahud, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Akiko Suwanai, Janne Thomsen, Cecilia Tsan) as well as actors such as Michel Blanc, who premiered Tanguy’s monodrama Sénèque, dernier jour in 2004; ensembles (Quatuor Arditti, Quatuor Attaca, Quatuor Diotima, Quatuor Modigliani, Quatuor Psophos, Quatuor Rosamonde, Quatuor Ysaÿe, Trio Wanderer, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Ensemble Köln, Tokyo Sinfonietta, London Sinfonietta) and numerous French and foreign orchestras (Orchestre National de France, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de Bordeaux, Orchestre National de Montpellier, Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchestre National de Strasbourg, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestre de chambre de Paris, Orchestre d’Aarhus, Boston Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Florida Orchestra, Gävle Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Lahti Sinfonia, Liège Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Mainz Orchestra, Minsk Orchestra, Novossibirsk Orchestra,Radio Kamer Filharmonie(Nederland), Rome Symphony Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Roma Tre Orchestra, Rostov Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich, Royal Northern Philharmonia, Sinfonia Varsovia, Ljubljana Orchestra, Jyväskylä Sinfonia, etc.).
In 2001, Mstislav Rostropovitch commissioned and premiered Tanguy’s Second Cello Concerto at the Flâneries Musicales in Reims, following which he performed it again in Boston and at Carnegie Hall with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Seiji Ozawa.
Just a few years later, in 2007, Anne Gastinel premiered (again at the Flâneries Musicales in Reims) In Terra Pace, a tribute to Mstislav Rostropovitch, with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France conducted by Michel Plasson.
In 2009, for its thirtieth anniversary, the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris premiered In Excelsis for orchestra at the Théatre des Champs-Elysées. Tanguy was also commissioned the compulsory piece by the 9th Mstislav Rostropovitch Cello Competition for which he wrote Invocation for solo cello (premiered in November 2009). Only a year later, his vocal piece Les mains papillon for mixed choir and children’s choir (a commission of the Orchestre de Paris) received its premiere at the Salle Pleyel.
In 2012, his Trio for piano, violin and cello was premiered in France at Radio France by Marie-Josephe Jude, Stéphanie-Marie Degand and Cecilia Tsan (who commissioned the work) and also in the US by the Pantoum Trio at the prestigious Jacaranda concert series in California.
Tanguy’s recent compositions include his Organ Concerto premiered in Caen in 2013 by Stéphane Béchy and the Orchestre de Caen conducted by Vahan Mardirossian and his symphonic work Affettuoso – in memoriam Henri Dutilleux premiered in January 2014 by the Orchestre de Paris under the baton of Paavo Järvi.
In March 2014, he has been invited by the International Music Fesival NIPPON in Nagoya, on which occasion Akiko Suwanai and Akira Eguchi have performed the premiere of In a dream for violin and piano.
Highlights in 2015 have included the new version of his symphonic work In Excelsis premiered by the Orchestre National d’Ile de France conducted by Enrique Mazzola in the newly built Philharmonie de Paris (March), Nouvelle Etude for solo piano premiered by Steven van Hauwaert in Los Angeles in the Piano Sphere concert series (June), Matka commissioned by the Jyväskylä Symphony Orchestra and Ville Matvejeff for the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sibelius (December).
Among many performances in 2015-2016, Eric Tanguy was played by the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen at Walt Disney Hall.
His new work for cello and piano, Spirales, commissioned by Philharmonie de Paris and ECHO has been premiered by Edgar Moreau and Pierre-Yves Hodique at the Kölner Philharmonie in 2016 and is subsequently being performed in some of the major concert halls of Europe (Philharmonie de Paris, MUPA Budapest, Bozar Bruxelles, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Milton Court London, Luxembourg Philharmonie, Palau de la Musica Barcelona, Konzerthaus Vienna).
Eric Tanguy is currently writing a Clarinet Concerto, to be premiered in 2017 by Pierre Génisson and the Orchestre Royal de Liège.
Since 2002, Eric Tanguy is teaching composition at the Conservatoire Paul Dukas in Paris. His reputation as a composer and professor has brought him invitations for masterclasses and lectures all around the world (New England Conservatory, Cardiff University, Royal Academy and Royal College in London, UCLA in Los Angeles where he was appointed Lecturer in composition during the fall 2014, USC and Colburn School in Los Angeles, Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan, Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in Darmstadt, Composers’ Union in Zagreb, French Music Academy in Kyoto, Sibelius Academy, but also institutions from Belgium, Denmark, Spain etc). He was invited in numerous television and radio shows in France and abroad.
Eric Tanguy’s works are published by Salabert/Universal Music since 1989. Many of them have been recorded and are available under the label of Decca, Erato, Naïve, Transart, OEHMS and Intrada.