Philippe Hurel

(b. 24 July 1955, Domfront, Orne).

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

Mr. Hurel studied musicology at the Université de Toulouse from 1974–79 and composition with Betsy Jolas and Ivo Malec at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris from 1980–83. He also studied computer science and music privately with Tristan Murail in Paris in 1983.

Among his honours are a scholarship to stay at the Villa Medici in Rome (1986–88), the Förderpreis der Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung in Munich (1995, for Six Miniatures en trompe l'œil), the Prix de Compositeurs from SACEM (2002), and the Prix de la Meilleure Création de l'Année from SACEM (2003, for Aura). His music has been performed in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK, and the USA.

He is also active in other positions. He worked as a music researcher at IRCAM in Paris in 1985–86 and 1988–89. He founded the ensemble for contemporary music Court-circuit in 1990 and has served as its artistic director since 1990. He served as composer-in-residence to both the concert hall Arsenal in Metz and the Orchestre National de Lorraine from 2000–02.

He taught composition at IRCAM from 1997–2001.

His publishers are Éditions Gérard Billaudot, for music written from 1981–96, and Éditions Henry Lemoine, for music written after 1997.


E-mail address:




La Célébration des invisibles (melodrama, text by Philippe Raymond-Thimonga, shadow theatre by Michel Rosenmann), mixed chorus, 6 percussion, 1992 (also shorter concert version)

Espèces d'espaces (music-theatre work, text by the composer, after Georges Perec), soprano–female actor, male actor, small orchestra, live electronics (by Alexis Baskind), film (by Evi Kalessis), 2010–11

Les Pigeons d'argile (opera, libretto by Tanguy Viel), 6 soloists, mixed chorus, large orchestra, 2012–13


Trames, 11 strings, 1982

Memento pour Marc, 1982–83

Diamants imaginaires, diamant lunaire, small orchestra (22 players), 1984–85

Pour l'image, small orchestra (14 players), 1986–87

Mémoire vive, large orchestra (74 players), 1988–89

Six Miniatures en trompe l'œil, small orchestra (14 players), 1990–91

Flash-Back, large orchestra (80 players), 1997–98

Quatre Variations, vibraphone, small orchestra (16 players), 1999–2000

Aura, piano, orchestra, 2001–02 (also version for piano, small orchestra [26 players], 2005–06)

Trois Études mécaniques, small orchestra (17 players), 2003–04

Phonus ou la voix du faune, flute, orchestra (10 winds, 4 French horns, harp, MIDI-keyboard, 2 percussion, strings), 2004

Phasis, tenor saxophone (+ soprano saxophone), small orchestra (14 players), 2007

Tour à Tour I, 'L'Envol', large orchestra, 2008

Præludium, large orchestra, 2010

Tour à Tour III, 'Les Rémanences', large orchestra, 2011–12

Tour à Tour II, 'La Rose des vents', large orchestra, live electronics, 2014–15


Eolia, flute, 1981

Opcit, tenor saxophone, 1983–84 (also version for clarinet, 1993)

Fragment de lune, 2 flutes, oboe, 2 clarinets, alto saxophone, bassoon, 2 French horns, trumpet, trombone, 2 MIDI-keyboards, 2 percussion, live electronics, 1985–86

Pavino et Sanina, flute, 1990

Rémanences, bass clarinet, tenor saxophone, French horn, tuba, 2 synthesizers (1 player), fixed media (2 tracks), 1991–92

Leçon de choses, flute, clarinet, 2 French horns, harp, violin, viola, cello, double bass, piano, MIDI-keyboard, 2 percussion, live electronics, 1993

Pour Luigi, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, 1994

Kits, 6 percussion, fixed media (2 tracks), 1995 (also version for bass guitar, congas, 6 percussion, 1995)

...à mesure, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, vibraphone, 1996

Tombeau in memoriam Gérard Grisey, piano, percussion, 1999

Loops I, flute, 1999–2000

Figures libres, flute, oboe, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, piano, percussion, 2000–01

Loops II, vibraphone, 2000–02

Loops III, 2 flutes, 2002–03

Ritornello in memoriam Luciano Berio, flute, piano, 2003

Loops IV, marimba, 2004–05

Hors-Jeu, percussion, live electronics, 2006

Step, moving flute, moving clarinet, piano (+ melodica), percussion, 2006–07

D'un trait – Trentemps (qui passe), cello, 2007 (one section may be performed separately: Trentemps)

à bâtons rompus, saxophone, percussion, 2008

Stretta, 2 trombones, organ, 2009

Recueil, viola, percussion, 2009

Localized corrosion, saxophone, electric guitar, piano, percussion, 2009

L'Âme en fête, 2 violins, 2009

Interstices, piano, 3 percussion, 2009

Plein-Jeu, accordion, live electronics, 2010

Trait d'union, violin, cello, 2013

Trait, violin, 2014

Pas à pas, flute, oboe, clarinet, piano, percussion, 2015

Global corrosion, saxophone, electric guitar, piano, percussion, 2015–16

So nah, so fern, flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, piano, percussion, 2016


La Célébration des invisibles (melodrama, text by Philippe Raymond-Thimonga), mixed chorus, 6 percussion, 1992 (shorter concert version of stage work)

Non-Dit, 50 mixed voices, 2005


Cantus (Hommage à Georges Perec) (text by the composer), soprano, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, percussion, 2006


Loops V, 2006


Musica 2, bassoon, piano, 1984

Altomobile, viola, 1985

Funky Studies, cornet, 1987

Bacasax, alto saxophone, piano, 1990

Première Improvisation (à Raphaële), orchestra, 1990

Deuxième Improvisation (à Thibault), small orchestra (28 players), 1991