Frédéric Durieux

(b. 27 February 1959, Paris).

French composer of mostly orchestral, chamber and vocal works that have been performed throughout the world.

Prof. Durieux studied analysis with Betsy Jolas and composition with Ivo Malec at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris from 1982–86 and earned premier prix in both subjects. He also studied analysis privately with Alain Poirier in Paris from 1981–84 and composition privately with André Boucourechliev in Paris from 1988–91.

Among his honours are a scholarship to stay at the Villa Medici in Rome (1987–89) and the Prix Prince-Pierre-de-Monaco (2005, for Traverse 1 and Traverses 2 & 3). He has received commissions from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, Ensemble Alternance, Ensemble 2e2m, Ensemble Intercontemporain/the Fondation Crédit Lyonnais, Ensemble Remix, the government of France, IRCAM, the ensemble L'Itinéraire, pianist Ichiro Nodaira, and Radio France, among other ensembles, organisations and soloists. He is the subject of the book Frédéric Durieux – Les Cahiers de l'IRCAM/Compositeurs d'aujourd'hui no. 7 (1995, IRCAM/Centre national d'art et de culture Georges-Pompidou).

He taught analysis as a professor at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris from 1990–2001 and has taught as Professeur de Composition there since 2001.

His publishers are Éditions Henry Lemoine and Rai Trade.


E-mail address:

Website: (French only)



3 pour 2 (ballet music, choreography by Giuseppe Frigeni), small orchestra (17 players), 2005–06 (also longer version as a concert work)


Macle, large orchestra (75 players), 1985–86

Seuil déployé, small orchestra (flute, alto flute, clarinet, basset horn, French horn, trumpet, trombone, harp, piano, synthesizer, 3 percussion, 3 violins, 3 violas, 3 cellos), 1988–89

Là, au-delà, small orchestra (8 winds, 2 trumpets, 2 tenor-bass trombones, harp, piano, synthesizer, 3 percussion, 8 strings), 1990–91, revised 1992

Traverse 1, large orchestra (81 players), 1995

Werden – Devenir II, clarinet, small orchestra (15 players), 2001 (expanded version of Devenir I)

Traverses 2 & 3, large orchestra (81 players), 2002–03

3 pour 2, small orchestra (17 players), 2006–07, revised 2009–10 (longer concert version of stage work)

Time Gathering – with Cy Twombly (concerto), cello, large orchestra (64 players), 2007, revised 2009–


Parcours pluriel, amplified ensemble (alto flute, English horn, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, harp, 2 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos, piano, 2 synthesizers, 2 percussion), live electronics, 1987

Marges I, harpsichord, percussion, 1989, revised 2010

, clarinet, 1989

Marges II, piano, ensemble (flute, clarinet, French horn, harp, violin, viola, cello, vibraphone, marimba), 1989

Marges III, oboe, ensemble (flute, clarinet, basset horn, harp, 2 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos, celesta, vibraphone, marimba), 1989–90

Devenir I, clarinet, computer, live electronics, 1993 (also expanded version as WerdenDevenir II; version as InitialDevenir III, clarinet/A-clarinet/bass clarinet, 2002)

Alliances, flute, clarinet, 1994

Départ (in memoriam Dominique Troncin), clarinet/A-clarinet, 1995 (also version for clarinet, violin, cello, double bass, 1999)

Incidences, percussion, 1996

Alexis Gesang, cello, 2007

Übersicht Ia, baritone saxophone, 2008 (also version as Übersicht Ib, tenor saxophone, 2009)

Here, not there – a tribute to Barnett Newman (Quatuor I), string quartet, live electronics, 2006–09

Ouvrir, violin, 2009

Ritt, violin, 2009

Placer/Déplacer (Miniatura No. 1 per violino e pianoforte), violin, piano, 2009

Souffler/Frapper, bassoon, percussion, 2009 (also version for bass clarinet, percussion, 2015)

Übersicht II, tenor saxophone, 2009–10

The Possibilities – to Howard Barker, 8 cellos, 2009–10

Études en Alternance, flute, A-clarinet, violin, viola, cello, piano, 2002–14 (its three sections may be performed separately: partir, 2002–03; bercer [in memoriam Gérard Grisey], 2002–03; filer, 2014)

Étude No. 1, «Wir schaufeln [...] in den Lüften» – in memoriam Ursula Holliger, alto saxophone, 2013–14

Poursuivre, violin, cello, accordion, 2013–14

Entscheiden, cello, 2014–15

Frontales, 2 harps, 2011–


Cristal et Corps (text by Emmanuel Hocquard), 7 mixed voices, small orchestra (23 players), 1994–95

L'Eau éclairée (text by Yves Bonnefoy), soprano, mixed chorus, large orchestra (78 players), 1996–98

Sammlung (text from the collection of Hans Prinzhorn), 8 mixed voices, 2 percussion, 2011–


Exil II (text by Yves Bonnefoy), soprano, alto, flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, trumpet, harp, violin, viola, cello, piano, 3 percussion, 1983, revised 1984

So schnell, zu früh (in memoriam Dominique Bagouet, text by Michael Franck), soprano, amplified small orchestra (18 players), computer, live electronics, 1993

Verticales Rouges (texts by Yves Bonnefoy, Paul Celan, Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, Psalm 77), female speaker, organ, 3 spatial groups (trumpet, trombone, percussion each), small orchestra (18 players), 2014–15

Viridaria (text by Emmanuel Hocquard), soprano, large orchestra (62 players), 1994–


Marges IV, 1989–92

Pour tous ceux qui tombent, 1997

Échappée – hommage à Claude Debussy, 2011–12

Counting out Time, 2015


Gemme, 1984


Seuil déployé. Mark Foster/Ensemble Forum de Lyon (Éditions Salabert: SCD 9002, 1990)

Marges III. Jean-Pierre Arnaud, oboe; Fabrice Bollon/Ensemble Alternance (Adès: 202282, 1992)

Départ (original version). Dominique Vidal, A-clarinet (Harmonia Mundi: HM 73/Radio France: MFA 216007, 1995)

So schnell, zu früh; Devenir I; Là, au-delà. Sharon Cooper, soprano; André Trouttet, clarinet; David Robertson/Ensemble Intercontemporain (Adès: 204552, 1995 [reissued as Universal Music/Accord: 465 312-2])

So schnell, zu früh. Sharon Cooper, soprano; David Robertson/Ensemble Intercontemporain (Universal Music/Accord: 461 892-2, 2000)

3 pour 2 (concert version). Tito Ceccherini/Orchestre des Lauréats du Conservatoire (CREC, 2010)

Übersicht II. Alexandre Souillart, tenor saxophone (CREC, 2011)