Dutilleux, Henri

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Dutilleux, Henri

Henri Dutilleux, 1916–2013, French composer, b. Angers; studied (1933–38) Paris Conservatory, received (1938) the Grand Prix de Rome. After serving in World War II, he was a pianist, teacher, arranger, choir conductor, and head (1945–63) of music production at France's state radio as well as a composer. Later (1961–70) he taught at the at the École Normale de Musique; subsequently he devoted himself solely to composing. Dutilleux's earliest works employed conventional tonality, which he slowly transformed into his own version of modernism, an extremely individualistic style that also is in the tradition of Ravel and Debussy. He composed very slowly, working in a number of genres and using extremely rich and sensuous harmonies and colors. Among his best-known works are the Piano Sonata (1946–48), Symphony No. 1 (1951), Symphony No. 2, Le Double (1959), works for several voices, the string quartet Ainsi la Nuit (1976), the violin concerto L'Arbre des Songes (1979–85, written for Isaac Stern), the cello sonata Les Citations (1985–2010, written for Mstislav Rostropovich), and Le Temps l'Horloge for orchestra and soprano (2006–9, written for Renée Fleming).

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