Tristan Murail


Born in Le Havre in 1947, Tristan Murail received advanced degrees in classical and North African Arabic from the Ecole Nationale des Langues Orientales Vivantes, as well as a degree in economic science, while at the same time pursuing his musical studies. In 1967, he became a student of Olivier Messiaen at the Paris Conservatory, and also studied at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris, graduating three years later. In 1971, he was awarded the Prix de Rome, and later received a First Prize in composition from the Paris Conservatory. He spent the next two years in Rome, at the Villa Medicis.
Upon returning to Paris in 1973, he co-founded the Ensemble L'Itineraire with a group of young composers and instrumentalists. The ensemble quickly gained wide recognition for its fundamental research in the area of instrumental performance and live electronics.
In the 1980s, Tristan Murail used computer technology to further his research in the analysis and synthesis of acoustic phenomena. He developed his own system of microcomputer-assisted composition, and then collaborated with Ircam for several years, where he taught composition from 1991 to 1997, and took part in the conception of the computer-assisted composition program "Patchwork". In 1997, Tristan Murail was named professor of composition at Columbia University in New York, teaching there until 2010.
Again in Europe, he continued giving master-classes and seminars all over the world, was guest professor at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg for three years, and is currently guest professor at the Shanghai Conservatory.


Orchestral works

Ensemble music

Chamber music

Solo works

Vocal and choral music


La Couleur sonore
Thierry Alla
Editions Michel de Maule, 2008

Dans le contexte
Julian Anderson
Entretemps n°8, 1989

Front the philosophical to the practical. The music of Tristan Murail
Claude Ledoux
Contemporary Music Review n°19, London, 2001

In Harmony. The music of Tristan Murail
Julian Anderson
The Musical Times, juin 1993

An interview with Tristan Murail
Anton Rovner
Century Music, 1998

Introduction to the pitch organization of French spectral music
François Rose
Perspectives of New Music n° 34 (2), 1996

Modèles et artifices
Textes de Tristan Murail, réunis par Pierre Michel
Presses Universitaires de Strasbourg, 2004

Les modèles perceptuels par simulation instrumentale dans les oeuvres de Tristan Murail
Eric Humbertclaude
Dissonance n° 13, 1987
Repris dans La Revue musicale n° 421-424

Musiques spectrales : nature organique et matériaux sonores au XX° siècle
Pierre-Albert Castanet
Dissonance n° 20, 1989

Mutation de l'écriture : Eclat, Stria, Désintégrations
Philippe Schoeller
InHarmoniques n° 1, Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 1986

Notes sur Gondwana
Marc-André Dalbavie
Entretemps n° 8, 1989

Le reflet d'une oreille dans Vingtième siècle. Images de la musique française
Eric Humbertclaude
Textes et entretiens, SACEM/Papiers, 1986

La Transcription dans Boulez et Murail - De l'oreille à l'éveil
Humbertclaude Eric
Editions de l'Harmattan, 1999

Tristan Murail
Textes réunis et présentés par Peter Szendy
Collection "Compositeurs d'aujourd'hui"
Editions Ircam-Centre Georges-Pompidou, Paris, 2002

Tristan Murail - Une expression musicale modélisée
Garant Dominic
Editions de l'Harmattan, 2001

L'univers de Tristan Murail
Marc Texier
Résonance n° 1, Ircam/Centre Georges-Pompidou, 1992





    • 09.06.2022
    • Le Fou à pattes bleues
    • Namur (Belgium)
    • Le Delta
    • Duo Eïdos : Géraldine Clément (fl), Thomas Waelbroeck (pno)
    • 01.06.2022
    • Winter Fragments
    • Montpellier (France)
    • Festival Klang! Opéra Comédie, Salle Molière
    • Wales New Music Ensemble
    • 29.05.2022
    • Lachrymae
    • Basel (Switzerland)
    • Ackermannshof
    • Ensemble Ö!, Francesc Prat (cond.)
    • 28.05.2022
    • Lachrymae
    • Chur (Switzerland)
    • Postremise
    • Ensemble Ö!, Francesc Prat (cond.)