Born in Caen in 1968, Éric Tanguy is to this day one of the most performed French composers in the world. Named “Composer of the Year” by the Victoires de la musique classique in 2004 and 2008,
Éric Tanguy studied under Horatiu Radulescu, Ivo Malec, Gérard Grisey, and Betsy Jolas at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris.
He has been awarded numerous prizes throughout his career, including the Darmstadt Stipendienpreis (1988), the Prix Villa Médicis Hors les murs (1989), the Haut Conseil culturel francoallemand scholarship (1991), the Villa Médicis competition prize (1992), the Darmstadt Kranichsteiner Musikpreis (1992), the French Institute André-Caplet prize (1995), the SACEM Hervé-Dugardin prize (1997), the SACEM lifetime achievement award (2012), and the “Grand prix Lycéen des compositeurs” (2014). A composer in residence for the Académie de France in Rome (1993- 1994), Éric Tanguy was also the honorary guest of Henri Dutilleux at the Tanglewood Music Center (United States). He was the composer in residence for the orchestras of Champagne-Ardenne (1995), Lille (1996), and Brittany (2001 to 2003), and for the Festival des Arcs in 2011. He was also a guest composer at the Aspects des Musiques d’Aujourd’hui festival in Caen (2007) and the Holstebro
Festival in Denmark in 2012. He was invited in 2015 by the Kone Foundation (Saari Residency) in Finland, and invited by Steven Isserlis as a composer in residence for the Open Chamber Music
Festival in Prussia Cove. He was most recently named composer in residence for the 2018 and 2019 Festival international de musique in Besançon, Franche-Comté.
His catalogue contains over one hundred compositions, ranging from solo works to concertos, vocal works and symphonies, performed by many of today’s greatest conductors (Alain Altinoglu, Lionel Bringuier, Semyon Bychkov, Fabien Gabel, Louis Langrée, Ville Matvejeff, Enrique Mazzola, Vahan Mardirossian, Ariane Matiakh, Seiji Ozawa, Michel Plasson, Pascal Rophé, François- Xavier Roth, Heinrich Schiff, Stefan Sanderling, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Yutaka Sado), soloists (Piotr Anderszewski, Nicholas Angelich, Suzana Bartal, Lise Berthaud, Claudio Bohorquez, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Marc Coppey, Alexandra Conunova, Henri Demarquette, Anne Gastinel, Alban Gerhardt, Ivry Gitlis, Natalia Gutman, François-Frédéric Guy, Francois Leleux, Olivier Latry,Igor Levit, Edgar Moreau, Emmanuel Pahud, Alina Pogostkina, Rosanne Philippens, Júlia Pusker, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Alexandra Soumm, Josef Špaček, Akiko Suwanai), quartets (Arditti, Arod, Attaca, Diotima, Elmire, Hanson, Modigliani, Rosamonde, Ysaÿe), trios (Metral, Sora, Roozeman, Wanderer), ensembles (Intercontemporain, Tokyo Sinfonietta, London Sinfonietta), and orchestras both in France and abroad (Orchestre National de France, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio- France, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Helsinki Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Tonhalle Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Wiener Kammerorchester...). He has also regularly collaborated with the writers Michel Onfray and Philippe Le Guillou.
In 2001, Mstislav Rostropovitch premiered his Cello Concerto no.2 at the Flâneries musicales de Reims before bringing the work to the United States, performing in Boston and at the Carnegie Hall in New York with Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
In 2004, the actor Michel Blanc performed Éric Tanguy’s monodrama Sénèque, dernier jour. His Trio for violin, cello, and piano was premiered at Radio France by Marie-Joseph Jude, Stéphanie- Marie Degand, and Cécilia Tsan (who commissioned the work), and later performed in 2011 by the Trio Pantoum during the Jacaranda Music Festival in California, USA.
In January 2014, Paavo Järvi conducted the premiere of his symphonic work Affettuoso with the Orchestre de Paris, at the Salle Pleyel. In March 2015, a new version of In Excelsis was performed at the Philharmonie de Paris by the Orchestre National d’Île-de-France, conducted by Enrique Mazzola. In December 2015, Matka, a work for orchestra commissioned by Jyväskylä Sinfonia and Ville Matvejeff, was premiered with the support of the Kone Foundation to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Jean Sibelius. In February 2016, Esa-Pekka Salonen conducted three performances of the work Affettuoso with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Walt Disney Hall and, in November 2017, Pierre Génisson and the Orchestre Royal de Liège premiered the Clarinet Concerto.
In 2018, Éric Tanguy composed Constellations, the imposed symphonic work for the 2019 International Besançon Competition for Young Conductors. Tanguy’s The Desperate Man (2019) for string octet was premiered by the Quatuor Diotima and the Quatuor Arod during his residency at the Festival international de musique in Besançon, Franche-Comté.
The Quintet for piano and string quartet (2018-19) was commissioned by the École Normale de Musique in Paris to mark its centenary anniversary. Most recently, two new vocal works have been added to the composer’s catalogue: Agnus Dei for soprano and mixed choir, premiered at the Opéra de Rennes by Violaine Le Chenadec with the Choeur Mélisme(s) (conducted by Gildas Pungier), and Miserere for choir, premiered in the Basilique Sainte-Anne d’Auray by the Sainte- Anne d’Auray vocal ensemble, conducted by Gilles Gérard.
Between 2017 and 2018, Éric Tanguy released two literary publications with Nathalie Krafft: Ecouter Sibelius (Listening to Sibelius), published by Buchet Chastel, and a biographical work Cinquante questions pour 50 ans de questionnement (Fifty questions for 50 years of questioning), published by Aedam Musicae with a
preface written by Michel Onfray.
In 2002, Eric Tanguy was named Professor of composition at the Paul Dukas conservatory in the 12th arrondissement in Paris, and since 2017 at the École Normale de Musique in Paris. His reputation as a composer and professor have earned him regular master class and conference invitations throughout the world (UCLA, USC, Colburn School, NEC, Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of music...)
The works of Éric Tanguy have been published by the Éditions Salabert since 1989, and many of these have been recorded by the record labels Decca, Erato, Naïve, Transart, Intrada, Ohems Classics, and Genuin.
Photo : © V.Mardirossian