Artiste-professeur invité


Bernard Cavanna

Born in 1951 in Nogent-sur-Marne (France)

At the age of nine he began to study the piano and very soon became passionate about composition which he mostly taught himself, with the occasional encounter and exchange with the composers Henri Dutilleux, Aurel Stroë, Paul Méfano and Georges Aperghis, who moreover greatly encouraged him. He also took classes in musicology at Paris VIII University, under Francis Bayer in particular. In 1984 he won a scholarship to go to the Villa Medicis (French Academy in Rome) the following year.

Drawn to the image and the stage Bernard Cavanna began working for the theatre with Jean Gillibert, Antoine Vitez, Stuart Seide, Daniel Martin, for dance with Caroline Marcadé and Angelin Preljocaj, for the cinema with Pierre Henry Salfaty and Alain Fleischer with whom he has been working regularly for over ten years. Around various vocal and instrumental pieces including Goutte d'or blues for the saxophone, Jodl for the organ, harpsichord or two pianos, he notably composed Io (based on a fragment of the Promethée d'Eschyle) for voice and ten instruments, the opera La Confession Impudique based on the novel by Junichiro Tanizaki and Messe un jour ordinaire, a work mainly on two texts: that of the ritual of mass and the pathetic and trivial words of a young woman in decline, a work which was played many times by the Ars Nova ensemble under the direction of Philippe Nahon.

From 1994 onwards he composed the violin solo Fauve, then Trio with accordion which foreshadowed a much vaster project for violin and orchestra commissioned for the Philharmonic Orchestra of Radio France and the violinist Noémie Schindler, a work which was created on 13 February 1999 in Paris. Since 1987 he has been director of the National School of Music in Gennevilliers.

As part of a collaboration with the National Orchestra of Lille, the contemporary composer Bernard Cavanna will direct a series of concerts in the magic space of the main nef at Le Fresnoy on 22, 23 and 24 March 2007. These concerts will take up two works by Bernard Cavanna: Messe un jour ordinaire which was awarded the SACEM prize for best contemporary creation in 1998 and the Concerto for violin, which won the Victoire 2000 prize for contemporary music.

Messe un jour ordinaire, a work for voice, choirs and instruments takes its inspiration from the true story of Laurence, a young woman who was a drug-addict in a sorry state and is now no longer alive, also the subject of Jean-Michel Carré's documentary film entitled Galères de femmes. This work will be presented in a new version, the result of a truly transdisci-plinary collaboration with music and video: a projection especially devised for this concert will accompany the work, presenting video images realised by Bernard Cavanna at Le Fresnoy.


« messe un jour ordinaire »

Performance - 2007

présentée dans le cadre de l'exposition Panorama 8