updated 21 March 2019
© Mario Zanaria

Nicolas Tzortzis

Greek composer living in France, born 4 May 1978 in Athens.

Born in Athens, Nicolas Tzortzis has lived in Paris since 2002. He studied composition and electronic music with Philippe Leroux at the Blanc-Mesnil Conservatory, composing for the stage with Georges Aperghis at the Bern University of the Arts (HKB), and computer-aided composition at Paris VIII University with José Manuel López López, Horacio Vaggione, and Anne Sedès. In April 2013, he obtained a doctorate from the University of Montréal (the title of his thesis (in French) translates to “Towards self-directed music: (In)compatibilities, Networks, Intuition, and Processes”), completed under the supervision of Denis Gougeon and Philippe Leroux.

He has attended workshops led by Karlheinz Stockhausen, Brian Ferneyhough, Beat Furrer, and François Paris. From 2009 to 2012, he undertook IRCAM Cursus I and II (IRCAM’s composition and computer music course). In 2010, he was selected for the sixth Ensemble Aleph Forum. In 2013, he was chosen by Peter Eötvös to be composer-in-residence at Herrenhaus Edenkoben, and from Februrary to April 2014, he was a resident at Villa Ruffieux in Sierre (Switzerland). In 2015, he received a Fulbright Grant to undertake a period of research at CNMAT, during which he composed a piece for Earplay Ensemble. In the same year, he was in residence for two months at Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart.

The music of Nicolas Tzortzis is inspired by his knowledge of philosophy (Castoriadis, Delphy, Kondylis, Rumsfeld), pop culture (he occasionally makes references to television series, as in (Running a) Business–Hommage to Tony Soprano, composed in 2016), rock music, documentaries, sport (e.g., … à une main, hommage à Roger Federer (2018), Contre tous, hommage à Nikos Galis (2017)) and surrealist art from the 1920s.

His works have been performed in France, Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Great Britain, the Netherlands, South Korea, Canada, Peru, USA, and Australia, by ensembles such as Divertimento Ensemble, Proxima Centauri, Arditti Quartet, Arsenale, ECCE, Earplay, ACME, NOISE, Nouvel Ensemble Modern, Nouvel Ensemble Contemporain, Juventas New Music Ensemble, the Kairos, Mantegna, and EnAccord Quartets, Aleph, Klang, Cairn, and Texture, and soloists including Pavlos Antoniadis, Lisa Cella, Krista Martynes, Lorna Windsor, Biliana Voutchkova, Julian Boutin, and Spyros Thomas.

Nicolas Tzortzis has received numerous prizes, including first prizes in the Music Today 21 (South Korea, 2007) and the Donald Aird (USA, 2008) competitions for Amenable, first prizes in the Cità di Udine and Viotti (Italy, 2008) competitions for Four Flash Fear, first prize in the Camillo Togni Competition (Italy, 2008) for Mnésique, first prize in the Atahualpa Yupanquì Competition (Argentina, 2009) for Désaxé, first prizes in the SoundON Festival Call-for-Scores and the Franco Donatoni Composition Competition (2010), first prize in the DuoSolo Competition (USA, 2010) for Incompatible(s) III / III b , first prize from the Dutch Institute of Paris for Femme-tête-temps for string quartet, second prize in the Zeitklang Competition (Austria, 2011), and finally, a prize from the Josef Reinl Foundation (Austria, 2011) for Rop.

In 2019, his piece from the first year of the IRCAM Cursus, Incompatible(s) IV, for bass clarinet and electronics (composed 2010), was performed at ManiFeste.

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2012


Nicolas Tzortzis.

Liens Internet

(liens vérifiés en mars 2019).


  • Nicolas TZORTZIS, Mnesique, dans « Contemporary Music From The Suså Festival », 1 CD CDKlassisk, 2017, CDK 1181.