updated 27 November 2020

Oscar Strasnoy

Argentine composer, conductor, and pianist, born 12 November 1970 in Buenos Aires.

Oscar Strasnoy studied piano, conducting, and composition with Laura Baade and Guillermo Scarabino at the Conservatorio Nacional Superior de Música in Buenos Aires. He traveled to Europe in 1991 to undertake further study with Michaël Levinas, Guy Reibel, and Gérard Grisey at the Paris Conservatoire (CNSMDP) and Hans Zender at the Frankfurt Hochschule für Musik.

Alongside his work as a composer, Strasnoy is active as a pianist and conductor. With countertenor Daniel Gloger, guitarist Pablo Márquez, contrabassist Eric Chalan, and percussionist Gabriel Said, he founded the Ego Armand Quintet. He was Musical Director of the CROUS Orchestra in Paris from 1996 to 1998, and has served as a guest conductor with Ensemble 2e2m, the Orchestre National d’Ile de France, and the Radio France and Nice Philharmonic Orchestras.

As a composer, he has received numerous grants and commissions from European and North and South American institutions, including the French Cultural Ministry, Mozarteum Argentino, Harvard University, Kulturstiftung des Bundes (Germany), the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Nadia Boulanger Foundation. His works have been performed at IRCAM, Musée d’Orsay, Strasbourg Musica Festival, Wigmore Hall, Aix-en-Provence Festival, Hamburg Opera, and the Opéra Comique in Paris by, among others, the Berlin and Radio France Philharmonic Orchestras.

He was a resident extra muros at Villa Medici in 1999, at Herrenhaus-Edenkoben in Germany in 2000 (at the behest of Peter Eötvös), at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in 2001-2002, and at Villa Kujoyama in Kyoto in 2003, and was composer in residence with Ensemble 2e2m for the 2005-2006 season, at the Arcs Festival in 2009, and at the Cornouaille Théâtre (Quimper, France) until 2012.

Theatre is at the heart of Strasnoy’s creative identity. His opera Midea, based on a text by Irina Possamai and performed in 2000 at the Teatro Caio Melisso (Spoleto, Italy) and the Rome Opera in 2001, was awarded the Orpheus Prize by Luciano Berio in 2000. Subsequent works of note include the cantata Hochzeitsvorbereitungen (2000), in which Strasnoy imagines a dialogue between Bach and Kafka (the recording of this piece was awarded the Académie du Disque Lyrique Prize); Ephemera (2000), a preparatory work for L’instant (2007); Opérette (2002) and Geschichte (2003), both settings of texts by Witold Gombrowicz; Fabula (2005) for countertenor and viola d’amore, a setting of a text by Alejandro Tantanian; Le bal (2008-2009), a commission of the Hamburg Opera; Cachafaz (2010), the “barbarian Tragedy of Copi,” directed by Benjamin Lazar and premiered at the Cornouaille Theatre in Quimper, with subsequent performances at the Paris Opéra comique; Случай/Fälle (2012), commissioned by the Bordeaux Opera; La Boîte (2013), commissioned by the Bouffes du Nord Theatre (Paris) and the Grand Theatre of the City of Luxembourg; Requiem after William Faulkner (2014); and the operas Comeback (2016) and Luther (2017), both with librettos by Christoph Hein.

Strasnoy also composes instrumental and vocal music which resonates with his lyrical and theatrical works, often comprising dialogues and montages of structures which he described as “urban” in his article Les stratifications de la mémoire (2e2m, coll. “À la ligne”, 2009). In this vein, he constructed his Bloc-notes series, made up of Ephemera and Midea, and the orchestral cycle Sum, comprising Scherzo (2005), The End (2006), Incipit and Y (both from 2011).

Recent accolades include the SACEM Grand Prix in 2010 and the SACD “New Musical Talent” Prize in 2011. Strasnoy taught composition at Acanthes in 2011 and was the featured composer at the Radio France Présences Festival in 2012, in which a retrospective of his catalogue was presented over 14 concerts at the Théâtre du Châtelet. In 2013, he was awarded the Francis and Mica Salbert Prize by SACEM.

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2018


  • Oscar Strasnoy (voir site du compositeur dans Ressources documentaires) ;
  • Claude Samuel, biographie d’Oscar Strasnoy pour les éditions Billaudot ;
  • Éditions Le Chant du Monde.


  • Oscar STRASNOY, The End (Sum #4) ; Y (Sum #2) ; Trois Caprices de Paganini ; Incipit (Sum #1) ; Scherzo (Sum #3), Latica Honda-Rosenberg, violon ; Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Dima Slobodeniouk, Susanna Mälkki, direction, dans « Orchestral Works », 1 cd Aeon, 2013, AECD1331.
  • Oscar STRASNOY, Un  retour, 1 livre-disque Actes Sud, Musicatreize, 2010 M13/UR/1/1.
  • Oscar STRASNOY, Hochzeitsvorbereitungen (mit B unt K) [Préparatifs de noce (avec B et K)], Monika Meier-Schmid, Daniel Gloger, Ensemble 2e2m, direction : Pierre Roullier, 1 cd Chant Du Monde - Harmonia Mundi 2007.
  • Oscar STRASNOY, Deux tangos dans « Paris-Buenos Aires », comprenant Derrumbe et Mano Brava, Claude Delangle : saxophone et l’ensemble Tango Futur, avec des œuvres d’Astor Piazzolla, Gabriel Senanes, Juan Carlos Cobian, Gerardo Gandini, Luis Naón,  Enrique Delfino,  Julio-Martín Viera, Gustavo Beytelmann, Carlos Grätzer et Daniel Bozzani, 1 cd Bis records, 2003.


  • Oscar STRASNOY, La stratification de la mémoire, avec des articles de Dorota Zórawska-Dobrowolska, Dino Villatico, Federico Monjeau, Paul Kildea, Matthew Jocelyn, éditions À la ligne, Pascal Ianco, direction, Champigny sur Marne, 2e2m, 2009, 118 pages.

Sites Internet

(liens vérifiés en janvier 2018).