Patrick Burgan was born on March 17th, 1960 in Grenoble (France). He first studied at the Toulouse Conservatory of Music. He was soon strongly attracted to composition and decided to follow this path after listening to Arcana by Varèse and Métaboles by Henri Dutilleux. In these works he perceived the expressive resources of a modernity that can free itself from tradition without blindly turning its back on it.
After brilliant postgraduate studies in musicology (1st nominated at the CAPES in 1985, 2nd at the Agregation in 1986), he entered the Paris Conservatoire national supérieur de musique where he studied with teachers like Ivo Malec. In 1988 he was awarded a First Prize in orchestration and in 1990 a First Prize with honours in composition, and therefore followed post-graduate studies with Gérard Grisey.
At the same time, he studied with Franco Donatoni at the Chigiana Accademia of Sienna and followed a training course on music computer science at the IRCAM with Tristan Murail and Philippe Manoury.
He has since been a laureate of the Institut de France for several times and won many composition competitions. He was the resident of the Casa de Velásquez in Madrid from 1992 to 1994. In November 1996 he was awarded the prize of the “Simone et Cino Del Duca” Foundation and the prize of the Académie des beaux-arts. In 2000, he won the Claude Arrieu prize (SACEM) for his entire work. He is today an associate lecturer at the Toulouse University where he is teaching composition and improvisation.
His works are regularly performed in most of Europe countries, as well as in the US, Canada, South Africa, Indonesia, Japan… by orchestras such as the Orchestre national de France, the Orchestre philharmonique de Radio-France, the Nederlands Kamerkoor, Accentus, Les Éléments, Musicatreize, Les jeunes solistes, the Maîtrise de Radio-France, the Concert spirituel, the National Chamber Choir of Ireland, the Parnassus ensemble of New-York, 2e2m, the Itinéraire and by soloists such as Nicholas Angelich, Emmanuel Strosser, Winston Choi, Michel Arrignon, Alain Damiens, Michel Bourcier, Philippe Graffin, Salomé Haller…
His expressive and sensual music is without any doubt very theatrical. One can already notice this feature in his instrumental music, but it is most obvious in his vocal music (as in Le Lac first-performed at the Théâtre du Châtelet by soprano Maryline Fallot and the Orchestre philharmonique de Radio-France conducted by Eliahu Inbal) and of course in his operatic works. A first opera La Source des images ou Narcisse exaucé (The Source of Images or Narcissus fulfilled), based on a libretto by the poet Marc Blanchet, was produced by the Musicatreize ensemble and created in 2000 in Tarbes, Nîmes and Marseille in a staging by Pierre Barrat.
In May and June 2006, his second opera, Peter Pan ou La Véritable Histoire de Wendy Moira Angela Darling (Peter Pan or The True Story of Wendy Moira Angela Darling) was created at the Théâtre du Châtelet with a prestigious cast including Marie-Christine Barrault, Gaële Le Roy, Marc Barrard, François Piolino, Eric Freulon, the children soloists of Sotto Voce (cond. Scott Prouty), the Maîtrise de Paris (cond. Patrick Marco) under the direction of Claire Gibault in a staging by Isabelle Partiot and costumes designed by Christian Gasc, with the acrobats of the Bois-Midi company.
Patrick Burgan was awarded in 2008 the SACEM Grand Prix of symphonic music.
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