b. 1922, Brãila, Romania
Educated at the Athens Polytechnic, Xenakis settled in France in 1947, working as an architect with Le Corbusier until 1959. He is best known for his 'stochastic' music, an application of probability theory to structure rather than to the actual production of sounds. He was strongly influenced by Varèse, with whom Xenakis shares a predilection for percussive sonorities and a fascination with the spatial deployment of music-for example, musicians placed within the audience, and electronic techniques. Xenakis's work requires of its audience a different attitude towards listening. His works range from chamber to orchestral and choral works: Herma (piano), Eonta (piano and brass), Pithoprakta (orchestra) and incidental music for the Oresteia.
See also: concert music