French composer born in 1951


At the age of nine, he began studying the piano and soon became interested in composition which, for the most part, he studied by his own, occasionally meeting and exchanging views with composers H. Dutilleux, A. Stroë, P. Méfano and G. Aperghis, who all strongly encouraged him. He also studied musicology with F. Bayer at Paris VIII-University. In 1984, he received the annual scholarship for creation and the following year was awardrd the Prix de Rome.

Attracted by film and stage, Bernard Cavanna was led to working for the theatre with J. Gillibert, A. Vitez, S. Seide, D. Martin, for dance with C. Marcadé and A. Preljocaj, and for the cinema with P. H. Salfaty and A. Fleisher with whom he has collaborated regularly over the past ten years.

Among his various vocal and instrumental pieces: Io for voice and ten instruments, La Confession impudique, an opera based on Tanizaki's novel (premiered in 1992 in Strasbourg and Nanterre/Amandiers, adapted for the stage and produced by D. Martin), Messe un jour ordinaire, based on a collection of different texts from various origins (the ordinary of the mass in latin, an interview of a young female junkie, a quote from K. Barbie, a poem by N. Méfano).

Fauve for solo violin, followed by the Trio avec accordéon, was started in 1994, as a first step towards the Concerto pour violon et orchestre commissioned by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France and violinist N. Schindler. This work was premiered at the 1999 Présences Festival.

In 2000: opera La Confession impudique performed by the ensemble Le Banquet conducted by Oliviers Dejours in a new version. World premiere of the opera for youth Raphaël, reviens, libretto by Michel Beretti.

Commissions by: the French State, the Avignon Festival, Radio-France, Compagnie Angelin / A. Preljocaj dance company.

Prix SACEM 1998 for the best contemporary music (Messe un jour ordinaire).

Victoire de la musique contemporaine (2000) for Concerto pour violon (7e Victoires de la musique)

Grand Prix Musique SACD 2007

Since 1987, B. Cavanna is director of the Gennevilliers National Music School.


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