updated 18 July 2014
© Cyril Guir

Thierry Pécou

French composer born 20 August 1965 in Boulogne-Billancourt.

Thierry Pécou studied orchestration and composition at the Paris Conservatoire (CNSMDP). In 1994-95, he was a resident at Villa Medici extra muros, and in 1997-98, at Casa de Velázquez in Madrid.

He founded two ensembles, Zellig (in 1999) and Variances (in 2009), with whom he regularly performs as a pianist; the latter group serves as a platform for combining contemporary works and oral musical traditions. Pécou regularly performs his own works on the piano, both as a soloist and in chamber music settings (e.g., Les machines désirantes, concertino for piano with Ensemble Zellig, and Tremendum with the BBC Symphony Orchestra).

In his music, Pécou often integrates elements from cultures which are remote both geographically and temporally, e.g., the languages and folklore of the pre-Colombian Americas and Amerindian societies in Symphonie du Jaguar and the cantata Passeurs d’eau; Greek mythology in Les filles du feu; allusions to African and American cultures, but also ancient China and Tibetan mysticism, in Tremendum - Concerto Carnaval, Outre-Mémoire, and L’Oiseau innumérable.

His works have been performed in venues and festivals such as Présences at Radio-France, Umea Opera in Sweden, Gaudeamus Music Week, Autumn in Moscow, “New Music Concerts” in Toronto, Foro Internacional de Musica Nueva de Mexico, Autumn in Normandy, Ambronay Festival, Bath Music Festival, Tampere Choir Festival in Finland, Shanghai Spring Music Festival, Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall, Izumi Hall in Osaka, Metz Arsenal, Rouen Opera, Salle Pleyel and Théâtre de la Ville and Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris. His music has notably been performed by ensembles and soloists including the Debussy and Kronos Quartets, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, and pianist Alexandre Tharaud.

Awards, Grants, and Prizes

  • 1990: Honourable Mention at the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers
  • 1990: Stéphane-Chapelier-Clergue-Gabriel-Marie Prize from SACEM
  • 1993: Georges Enesco Prize from SACEM
  • 1996: Pierre Cardin Prize from the French Academy of Fine Arts
  • 1999: SACD “New Talent” Award
  • 2004: SACEM “Young Composers” Prize
  • 2004: Recipient of a grant/prize from the Banque Populaire Foundation
  • 2005: Nominated for Victoires de la Musique
  • 2010: “Grand Prix” in Composition from the Simone and Cino del Duca Foundation, French Academy of Fine Arts
  • 2010: Prize for the “Best Premiere” from the Union of Theatre, Music, and Dance Critics
  • 2010: “Grand Prix” from the Charles Cros Academy, and Diapason d’or for the recording of Symphonie du Jaguar
  • 2012: Diapason d’or for the CD Tremendum

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2014


Thierry Pécou ; Jean-Luc Tamby.

Liens Internet


  • Thierry PÉCOU, Tremendum ; Soleil-Tigre ; Manoa ; L’Arbre aux fleurs ; Paseo de la Reforma ; Danzón, Thierry Pécou : piano, Ensemble Variances, Percussions Claviers de Lyon, 1 Cd Harmonia Mundi HMC 905269, 2012.
  • Thierry PÉCOU, Symphonie du Jaguar ; Vague de pierre, Ensemble Zellig, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, direction : François-Xavier Roth, Jonathan Stockhammer, 1 Cd Harmonia Mundi HMC 905267, 2010.
  • Thierry PÉCOU, L’oiseau Innumérable, Alexandre Tharaud : piano, Ensemble orchestral de Paris, direction : Andrea Quinn, 1 Cd Harmonia Mundi HMC 901974, 2008.
  • Thierry PÉCOU, Passeurs d’Eau, Ensemble Zellig, Yaki Kandru, avec la participation de XVIII-21 Le Baroque Nomade, direction : Jean-Christophe Frisch, 1 Cd Integral Classic INT 221.127, 2007.
  • Thierry PÉCOU, Quelqu’un parle au tango ; Sous l’aile du vent ; Sikus ; Salsa d’Élissa, Thierry Pécou : piano, Ensemble Zellig, 1 Cd Integral Classic INSO221.330, 2005.
  • Thierry PÉCOU, Outre-mémoire, Alexandre Tharaud : piano, Ensemble Zellig, 1 Cd Aeon AECD 0423, 2004.
  • Thierry PÉCOU, Laissez faire au voyage, François Leleux : hautbois, Ensemble Zellig, 1 Cd Integral Classic INT 221.127, 2003.
  • Thierry PÉCOU, Une rose…, Thierry Pécou : piano, Ensemble Zellig, 1 Cd MDA et Centre Chorégraphique National de Caen / Basse-Normandie, 9905 MDA, 2000.
  • Thierry PÉCOU, Poème du temps et de l’éther, Thierry Pécou : piano, Silvia Lenzi : violoncelle, Ensemble Music & Sound, 1 Cd BMG Ricordi, 1995.