updated 13 July 2011

Alain Berlaud

French composer and teacher born in 1971 in La Rochelle.

Alain Berlaud was born in France in 1971. He studied horn, chamber music, and composition at the Conservatoire de Tours, graduating with highest honors in composition. He then went on to study voice, choral conducting, and musicology at the Université d’Orléans-Tours, graduating with an agrégation (teaching certificate) in 1996.

He went on to study composition at the Conservatoire de Nanterre with Philippe Leroux from 1996 to 2003, then entered the Conservatoire de Paris (CNSP), where he studied with Michaël Lévinas (analysis), Paul Mefano Marco Stroppa (composition), Luis Naón Marc-André Dalbavie (orchestration), Gilles Léothaud (ethnomusicology), and Yann Geslin, Luis Naón, Laurent Cuniot and Tom Mays (electroacoustics). He graduated with highest honors in 2002, unanimously attributed by the jury for composition. He then participated in Cursus (the IRCAM’s composition and computer music course) in 2003-2004. That same year, he was invited to the Siren festival of the University of Göteborg (Sweden), the SYLF Foundation, and to complete a residency with the Meyer Foundation.

His music has been performed by Ensemble Itinéraire, Les Cris de Paris – Chi cerca trova (2000), Les Cris de Paris (2006) – Quatuor Habanera – Drôles d’histoires d’amour (2002), Comment Wang-Fô fut sauvé based on a text by Marguerite Yourcenar (2006), the Orchestre des pays de Savoie – Pays-Paysages-Visages (2005) – Instant Donné - Et in Arcadia ego (2002), Capella Amsterdam – Cum invocarem (2003), and Guillaume Bourgogne – L’arbre (2000), L’enfant d’éléphant (2001, revised in 2011).

As an ethnomusicologist, he has conducted research on the Kam people of Guangxi (China), particularly their use of voice and mouth organ, as well as on Malian folktales and the Mayan calendar, which inspired his Cœur (2003) and Soleils Mayas (2004).

For many years he taught music culture, analysis, music theory, and orchestration at the Conservatoire du Havre and choral singing in Paris. Since 2004, he has taught high school and in the musicology department of the University of French Guiana, Cayenne, and conducts the Petit chœur polyphonique d’Amazonie, for which he wrote a pedagogical opera in 2010 titled Opéra Amazonia.

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2011


Alain Berlaud.

  • Solo (excluding voice)
  • Chamber music
  • Instrumental ensemble music
  • Concertant music
    • Les épousailles music for a film by Pierre Filmon, for string quartet and wind fanfare (1999), 13 mn 5 s, pas d'éditeur
    • Et in Arcadia ego triple concerto for clarinet, cello, piano and orchestra (2001-2002), 8 mn 25 s, pas d'éditeur
    • Petites flammes for bass clarinet and saxophone quartet (2003), 4 mn, pas d'éditeur
    • elec Chant de l'Etoile for saxophone quartet and saxophone ensemble (2011), 13 mn, pas d'éditeur
  • Vocal music and instrument(s)
    • Invent'airs for soprano and wind quintet (1993), 10 mn, pas d'éditeur
    • Ligne 4827 vers Jupiter cantata for solo soprano and tenor, narrator, harp, harpsichord and percussion soloists, two choirs and orchestra (1994), 60 mn about , pas d'éditeur
    • L'arbre for five female voices and two percussionists (2000, 2011), 5 mn 25 s, pas d'éditeur
    • elec Aussi bien que les cigales for soprano, saxophone and electronics (2001), 7 mn 5 s, Jobert - Lemoine
    • elec L'enfant d'éléphant for narrator, soprano, bass, thirteen instruments and electronic device (2001, 2011), 11 mn, pas d'éditeur
    • elec Cœur for four voices, large ensemble and electronics (2002-2003), 15 mn 10 s, pas d'éditeur
    • elec stage Pays-Paysages-Visages for children's choirs, string orchestra, rock and electronic ensemble (2005), 45 mn about , pas d'éditeur
    • elec stage Comment Wang-Fô fut sauvé for saxophone quartet, actor-narrator and electronics (2006, 2008), 60 mn about , pas d'éditeur
    • Opéra Amazonia educational piece for narrator, three sopranos, mixed choir and small ensemble (2010), 1 h 30 mn about , pas d'éditeur
  • A cappella vocal music
  • Electronic music / fixed media / mechanical musical instruments
    • Bleus de Chine music for the film by Pierre Filmon, for voice and ensemble (1996), 15 mn 35 s
    • elec Magnificat electroacoustic music (1999), 5 mn 30 s, pas d'éditeur
    • elec Le silence d'abord music for a film by Pierre Filmon, for electronics (2001), 20 mn 41 s, pas d'éditeur
    • elec Tigouli au bord de l'étang for electronics, with narrator (2003), 7 mn 58 s, pas d'éditeur
    • elec Tigouli dans le jardin for electronics, with narrator (2003), 7 mn 58 s, pas d'éditeur
    • elec Soleils Mayas twenty electroacoustic pieces (2004), 60 mn, pas d'éditeur


  • Alain BERLAUD, Chi cerca trova dans « Capitolo Novo », œuvres pour chœur, Les Cris de Paris, direction : Geoffroy Jourdain, 1 cd Nocturne, coll. L’empreinte digitale, ED13213.
  • Alain BERLAUD, Cœur, dans «Journées de la composition 2003 », Orchestre des Lauréats du Conservatoire, direction : Zsolt Nagy, CNSMDP (Conservatoire de Paris), Centre de recherche et d’édition du conservatoire, 1 cd CREC, 2003, 04/033-3.
  • Alain BERLAUD, Drôles d’histoires d’amour, Dodécasax*,* CNSMDP (Conservatoire de Paris), Centre de recherche et d’édition du conservatoire, 1 cd CREC.
  • Alain BERLAUD, Petites flammes, dans « L’Engrenage », œuvres pour clarinette et quatuors de saxophones, Louis Sclavis et le Quatuor de Habanera (Christian Wirth, Sylvain Malézieux, Fabrizio Mancuso, Gilles Tressos), 1 cd Alpha, coll. « Les chants de la terre », ALPHA518 – 3760014195181.
  • Alain BERLAUD, Tigouli au bord de l’étang, Emmanuelle Lizère : voix parlée, 1 cd Nocturne, NTCD 327-329.