For Thierry Pécou, to live is to travel, and to travel is to write, as if composing were both plunging into another universe, taking emotional possession of the places, and above all, stepping back; voluntarily becoming marginalized in relation to one’s everyday cultural milieu.
Born in 1965 in Paris, Thierry Pécou began studying the piano at the age of nine and continued his studies at the Paris Conservatoire Supérieur, where he won First Prizes in Orchestration and Composition. Regularly appointed for residencies around the world, Pécou has had a long-standing relationship with the Banff Center in Canada where he has often been in residence. He was also a member of the Casa de Velazquez in Madrid and in residence in Russia, as part of the Villa Médicis Hors Les Murs Prize, and has made his extensive travel a source of inspiration for his music.
He wrote over 80 performed works, most often commissions of higly prestigious institutions, are interpreted by world-class soloists and orchestras (e.g. Kronos Quartet, pianist Alexandre Tharaud, BBC Symphony Orchestra), furthermore played at well-renowned concerts’seasons and festivals; such as the Radio-France’festivals Présences, Gaudeamus Music-Week in Amsterdam, Automn in Moscow, New Music Concerts Toronto, Foro Internacional de Musica Nueva de Mexico, Festival d'Ambronay, Tampere Choir Festival (Finland), Auditorium de Nagasaki, Théâtre de la Ville and des Champs Elysées in Paris, Octobre en Normandie.
His composition awards have included, Thierry Pécou's Stabat Mater received a special mention at UNESCO's International Rostrum of Composers in 1990.
He also won the Prix Nouveau Talent SACD in 1999, the Prix Georges Enesco as well as the Prix des Jeunes Compositeurs SACEM in 1993 and 2004. His work Brèves du Jaguar was recommended at the International Rostrum of Composers in 2004. In the same year, Thierry Pécou was awarded a grant by the Banque Populaire Foundation. He was furthermore nominated for the Victoires de la Musique 2005 (Cannes - January 26, 2005) in the Composer of the year's category, for his piece - Outre-Mémoire (Editions Musicales Européennes).
He is currently working on a new piece involving Chinese traditional instruments, commissioned by the GRAME, to be premiered at the World Exposition in Shanghai in 2010, and completing the opera L’Amour Coupable, based upon Beaumarchais’la Mère coupable, on a libretto by Eugene Green, commissioned by the Rouen Opera.
Prominent amongst his works are:
Les Machines désirantes, for piano and five instruments, premiered in February 2009 at the Radio-France Festival Présences, with, Thierry Pécou - piano and the Ensemble Zellig
L’Oiseau innumérable, concerto for piano and orchestra, premiered in October 2006 with Alexandre Tharaud, piano and the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, cond. Andrea Quinn
Les Sacrifiées, opera for three solo voices, choir and chamber orchestra, the premiere of which was held in January 2008 - libretto by Laurent Gaudé, with Arcal and the ensemble TM+. Christian Gangneron, stage director.
Vague de pierre for orchestra, premiered with the Philarmonic Orchestra of Radio-France at the Radio-France Festival Présences 2007
Passeurs d’eau for female voices, Amerindian voice and instruments, and three instruments, premiered in 2004 at the Abbey of Sylvanès and the ‘Musica’ and ‘Voix et routes romanes’ festivals in Strasbourg by Mora Vocis With Yaki Kandru and the ensemble Zellig, in a staging by Christine Mananzar;
Symphonie du Jaguar for five female voices, clarinet, trombone, violin, and cello soloists, and large orchestra. Premiered at the Radio-France Festival Présences 2003
Les Filles du feu for oboe or clarinet and instrumental ensemble, premiered at the Auditorio Nacional de Madrid in May 1998;
A Circle in the sand for violin solo and double chamber chorus, commissioned by the Bath International Music Festival
Ñawpa for solo violin and string orchestra, premiered at Radio France in September 1999