updated 11 February 2022
© Deborah Lopatin

Clara Olivares

French-Spanish composer born 24 June 1993 in Strasbourg.

Clara Olivares began studying piano at five years old and earned her diploma in piano and chamber music studies at the Haute École des Arts du Rhin in Strasbourg, for which she received the Sacem Prize after obtaining the highest grade. In 2011, she joined the composition course under the direction of Mark Andre, and then Philippe Manoury, Daniel D’Adamo, Thierry Blondeau, and Annette Schlüntz. From 2017 to 2021, she wrote her dissertation for a doctorate in composition at UC Berkeley, where she studied alongside Franck Bedrossian, Edmund Campion, Carmine-Emanuele Cella, and Ken Ueno. In 2020, she joined the Cursus Program on Composition and Computer Music at IRCAM, having twice participated in the Académie ManiFeste — in 2015 for the computer music workshop and in 2018 for the large orchestra composition workshop.

Olivares’s works have been played by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France, UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, the Mitteldeutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Fonema Consort Ensemble, Sound Icon Ensemble, Eco Ensemble, Quince Vocal Ensemble, XXI.n Ensemble, Lucilin Ensemble, Duo Átomos, Mazumal Duo, Vocal Voix de Stras’ Ensemble, and L’Arrach’Chœur Vocal Ensemble, among others. Her pieces have been played in the United States, Finland, France, Spain, Germany, Brazil, Venezuela, and Luxembourg. She has also been played on radio stations such as France Musique, Radio Accent 4, RCF, Radio Nacional de España, and Radio MDR Figaro. Two of her pieces were published by Editions Alphonse Leduc, as well as programmed for the Concours Artistique d’Epinal in 2016 and for the end-of-year exams at the Conservatoire de Paris in 2019.

Passionate about compositions for voice, which Olivares considers the “most pure and intimate instrument,” she particularly enjoys composing in a manner personalized for a specific performer. Her interest in voice accompanies another major aspect of her compositional practice — poetry. She has found influence in poetry by Louise Labé, Mary and Percy Shelley, and Jenő Dsida, as well as in more contemporary writings, such as those by Canadian poet Huguette Bertrand. Olivares accords great importance to the narrative function of the voice and to the intelligibility of the text, which she often chooses to keep short in order to exploit it in its entirety, unlike the work of Luciano Berio, Bruno Maderna, or Georges Aperghis, whose work represents phonological research to the point of asemanticism.

During her electronic exploration, she developed an interest in the real time processing of voice in opera, which was also the subject of her master’s degree. In her first opera, Mary (2017), for soprano, saxophone, clarinet, violin, viola, live electronics, and puppets, “the electronics will allow me to create a virtual scene, or a listening place that only exists through the loudspeakers.”1 The technology is functional, allowing better distinction among the different characters, but also serves to “open a larger acoustic space attached to the text through spatialization effects unique to each character.”2

Olivares is associate composer of the Paris Chamber Orchestra for the 2020/2021 season. In February 2022, her new work for horn, ensemble, and electronics was debuted at Radio France’s Festival Présence.

1. Michèle TOSI, “Les voi•x•es de l’imaginaire: Entretien avec Clara Olivares, compositrice,” EnsembleIntercontemporain.com, 30 January 2022. 
2. Laure GAUTHIER, “Musique et poésie aujourd’hui: Entretien avec Clara Olivares (et documents),” remue.net, 28 December 2020. 

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2022


Site de la compositrice, CNMAT, lesgensdeberkeleymagazine, Ensemble Intercontemporain, remue.net

Liens Internet

(liens vérifiés en janvier 2022).