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Roger Tessier

French composer born 14 January 1939 in Nantes.

Roger Tessier was born in Nantes in 1939. He undertook studies of music in his hometown before moving to Paris (where he still lives) in 1959 to pursue further study. In 1970, he co-founded Ensemble l’Itinéraire. Around this time, he was also actively engaged in research on timbre, which gave rise to works such as Ojma for string trio (1976), commissioned by Radio-France; Isomérie for fifteen strings (1979), commissioned by Radio-France; and Mobile/immobile for 16 instruments (1980), premiered at the SIGMA Festival in Bordeaux and subsequently performed at the Romandy Festival in Switzerland.

Naturally drawn to music technology, his catalogue contains numerous mixed works and pieces for electronic instruments, including Hexade for ondes Martenot sextet (commissioned by the French Ministry of Culture in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the invention of the instrument) and Clair-obscur for flute, voice, horn, cello, and electronics.

He was awarded the SACEM Prize in 1976 and the Fondation de France
Prize in 1980. He served as Musical Director of the Angers Festival of 20th Century Music in 1982.

Noteworthy pieces from the 1980s and 1990s include Coalescence for clarinet and two orchestras (1987), L’ombre de Narcisse for 11 instruments (1992), and Electric Dream Fantasy for ondes Martenot trio (1996).

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 1998