updated 23 October 2023
© Géraldine Millo

Sébastien Gaxie

French composer born 26 June 1977

Sébastien Gaxie was born in France in 1977. He began studying piano with Umberto Guzzo choral singing with the Petits chanteurs de Saint-Christophe de Javel, with whom he toured Europe many times. He went on to study jazz piano with Bojan Z and at the École Arpej in Paris. From 1998 to 2000, he headed the Zhig Band, an eighteen-musician ensemble that played his compositions and were finalists in the Concours National de Jazz de la Défense in 1999.

In 2000, Gaxie participated in the Voix Nouvelles à Royaumont composition session, where he studied with Brian Ferneyhough. After studing music theory with Jean-Michel Bardez, analysis with Bruno Plantard, and composition with Allain Gaussin, Gaxie entered the Conservatoire de Paris (CNSMDP) in 2000. During his time there, he studied composition Emmanuel Nunes and Frédéric Durieux, orchestration with Marc-André Dalbavie, piano with Françoise Buffet-Arsenijevic, analysis with Alain Louvier, and ethnomusicology with Gilles Léothaud.

His album “Lunfardo” was released by the label Chief Inspector in 2005 to critical acclaim (it was named a “Choc” record by the magazine Jazzman). During this period he also wrote scores for both short and feature-length films. He went on to compose for dance, as well, notably Grammar of synchronicity, written for the Compagnie Emio Greco in 2010.

His catalogue includes some thirty opuses, from pieces for solo performers to orchestral works, and frequently includes electronics. His compositions have been conducted by conductors such as Pascal Rophé, Zsolt Nagy, Alain Louvier, Guillaume Bourgogne, and Jean Deroyer, and performed by musicians including Médéric Collignon, Claude Barthélemy, and Ramon Lopez. He has participated in numerous festivals including Radio France’s Présences festival, Banlieues Bleues and Les Détours de Babel. His music has been performed in Europe, Thaïlande, and Japon (Watashi to kotori to suzu to for six woman vocalists premiered in Tokyo in 2008).

From 2007 to 2009, Sébastien Gaxie participated in Cursus (IRCAM’s composition and computer music course) In 2009, the work he composed for Cursus 2, Montagnes russes sur la Pnyx for ensemble and electronics, premiered at IRCAM in a performance by Court-Circuit, conducted by Jean Deroyer. After that IRCAM commissioned several pieces from him, including Le bonheur (2010) for the 1934 Alexandre Medvedkine film for the Louvre, Body and forms (2012) and Continuous Snapshots that premiered at the ManiFeste festival in 2013.

In 2014 and 2017 he created two operas, Céleste ma planète, a children’s opera based on a libretto by Timothée de Fombelle, and Je suis un homme ridicule, loosely based on a short story by Dostoyevsky. For several years, Sébastien Gaxie has been working on rhythmic recitations from South India; Thilannina premiered in 2021 at the Phiharmonie de Paris and Cosmic Dance, a monumental piece premiered at Radio France in 2022 with the Indian percussionist BC. Manjunath as soloist.

That same year, the composer worked with photographer Vincent Fournier on the Auctus Animalis project, which took the form of a book, a sound exhibition and a performance that toured throughout France. In this initiatory tale, Captain Levant, played by actor Denis Lavant, encounters a fantastic bestiary on an uncharted Pacific island that eventually forms a new cosmogony.

Prizes and Awards

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2013

Liens Internet

(liens vérifiés en octobre 2023).


  • Sébastien GAXIE, Timothée DE FOMBELLE, « Céleste ma planète », 1 livre + 1 livret + 1 CD Gallimard jeunesse, 2014.
  • Sébastien GAXIE, Entra libra e y Escorpio, avec des œuvres de Philippe Hurel, Iannis Xenakis, José Manuel López López…, Elisa Humanes, 1 cd Ministro de Cultura/Colegio de Espana, 2006.
  • Sébastien GAXIE, Lunfardo, Médéric Collignon : voix, cornet de poche, trompette, Maxime Delpierre : guitare, Frédéric Deville : violoncelle, Sébastien Gaxie : piano, Guillaume Humery : clarinettes, Ramon Lopez : batterie, Manuel Peskine : piano, orgue positif, Sylvain Rifflet : saxophones, clarinettes, Gérard Tempia : violon, direction : Sébastien Gaxie, 1 cd Chief Inspector, 2005.
  • Sébastien GAXIE, Futurisme Zen, dans « Journées de la composition 2005 », avec des œuvres d’Yves Chauris et Francesco Filidei, orchestre des lauréats du conservatoire, direction : Zsolt Nagy, 1 cd Centre de recherche et d’édition du conservatoire, 2005 [concert du vendredi 14 octobre 2005 au conservatoire de Paris, espace Maurice Fleuret].
  • Sébastien GAXIE, Quatre études d’une minute trente-trois, dans « Journées de la composition 2003 », avec des œuvres de Lionel Bord, Yves Chauris, Luis Fernando Rizo Salom, orchestre des lauréats du conservatoire, direction : Guillaume Bourgogne et François-Xavier Roth, 1 cd Centre de recherche et d’édition du conservatoire, 2003 [concert enregistré en octobre 2003 au conservatoire de Paris, espace Maurice Fleuret].