Michaël Levinas studied piano, piano accompaniment, orchestra conducting and composing at CNSM de Paris. He met Yvonne Loriod who got him immediately in Olivier Messiaen's famous class of composing, developed also his piano repertoire.
At the end of his studies, trained by these two great personalities, who gave then a powerful movement of artistic revival and modernity in France and all over the world, Michaël Levinas went on his first tours of pianist. Later, still encouraged by Olivier Messiaen, he was appointed as scholarship student at the Villa Medicis in Rome, directed then by the painter Balthus, another of his great encounters.
It is also the nevralgic moment when he creates in 1973, with his classmates of Messiaen's class, Tristan Murail and Gérard Grisey, the ensemble Itinéraire, founder of the spectral movement.
Michaël Levinas is a pioneer regarding to the new ideas of the instrumental writing and the development of the sound range by the technological environments. His works for ensemble, orchestra and soloist are created and repeated by the most famous ensembles, festivals and institutions in France and abroad: Festival of Donauschingen, International meetings of de Darmstadt, Ircam, Cité de la Musique, Ensemble Inter Contemporain, Ensemble Ictus, Ensemble Itinéraire, Klang Forum, Le Balcon, Radio France, Multilatérales, Biennale de Venise...
Michaël Levinas is above all characterized by an undeniable dramatic gift, a connection with the text, the theatre and the scene. He is well known as a composer of operas and was commissioned by important European theatres. Since La Conférence des oiseaux (1985), he wrote not less than three great lyrical works, all of them created in important European theatres: Go-gol (1996), adapted from Gogol's novel, Le Manteau; Les Nègres, adapted from Jean Genêt's text; La Métamorphose (2010), adapted from Kafka's story.
A new opera, adapted from Saint Exupéry's Le Petit Prince has been be premiered in 2015.
Michaël Levinas teaches at the National Superior Conservatory of Music of Paris and is Member of the Beaux-Arts Academie of the Institut de France.
Qu'est-ce que l'instrumental
Schott, Mainz, 1984
Thriller à la Villa d'Este
Silences n°3, Paris, 1986
Le Son et la musique
Entretemps n°6, Paris, 1988
La Musique et son double
L'esthétique de Michaël Levinas par Pierre Albert Castenet
La Revue Musicale, Paris, Richard Masse, 1990
L'idée musicale dans le Kammerkonzert d'Alban Berg, entre harmonie et spectre inharmonique
Ouvrage publié en co-direction par Michaël Lévinas et Christine Buci-Glucksmann (avec la collaboration de M. Rigoni)
in L'idée Musicale, P.U.V., 1993
La loi et le hors la loi
Texte publié dans le cadre d'un ouvrage collectif dirigé par Michaël Lévinas et Danielle Cohen-Lévinas
Collection du Collège International de Philosophie
Ecrits de Michaël Lévinas
Textes réunis par Danielle Cohen-Lévinas et Pierre-Albert Castanet
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