Igor Ballereau was born on 11 October 1969 in Cherbourg. After studying communication and language sciences and the techniques of actor and musician at the Théâtre des Ateliers d’Aix-en-Provence, he tackled, in 1992, composition as an autodidact. He met Pascal Dusapin, who advised him concerning the organisation of his work in composition.
Igor Ballereau studied harmony at the Conservatory of the 10th arrondissement of Paris (1992-1993), then counterpoint at the École Nationale de Musique ‘Alfred Cortot’ (1993-1994). He then took part, in July 1994, at the Centre Acanthes in Villeneuve-lez-Avignon, in a workshop on the monodrama Zigurat with the ensemble Accroche Note, Pascal Dusapin, Georges Aperghis and Nguyen-Thien Dao.
He was musical assistant for the opera To be sung by Pascal Dusapin at the Carré Saint-Vincent in Orléans (December 1994), then for the monodrama Kassandra by Michael Jarrell at the Théâtre des Amandiers in Nanterre (February 1999). He was also assistant-conductor, notably for Jacob Lenz by Wolfgang Rihm at Atem (October 1995) and for La Chute de la maison Usher by Ivan Fedele at the Cité de la Musique (December 1995).
In January 1996 his first piece, Deux nus froissés, was performed in a concert by l’Itinéraire, at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. From 2003 to 2004, he had a bursary from the Académie de France in Rome and was in residence at the Villa Medici, where he composed, notably, Frottola for voice, piano, string trio and bells to poems of Michelangelo.
In 2007 Igor Ballereau settled in New York, where he founded the Netlabel SHSK’H with the soprano Jody Pou so as to able to produce and promote his work on the internet as well as that of other composers and performers. He currently lives and works in Aix-en-Provence.
Over the years Igor Ballereau has collaborated with various groups such as l’Itinéraire (Schizo-machine, 1997), the ensemble Accroche Note (Splendor for flute, violin, harp, clarinet, viola and piano, 2011), the ensemble 2e2m (Cent sales mouches for flutes, violin, viola and cello, 1999), the ensemble SIC, Der blaue Reiter, the trio Allers-Retours (Deux somnilogues for accordion, violin, cello, 2000), Les Cris de Paris (HSESTTL for mixed chorus, 2009), the ensemble Ictus (Yo no naka for voice, flutes, clarinets, harp, harmonium, violin, viola and cello, 2005), the ensemble Aleph (Mouvement encore des choses for clarinet, violin, cello and piano, 2009), the ensemble Nomos (Désinvention du noir for 12 cellos, 2012).
He has extensively explored the accompanied vocal genre, and more specifically the tension itself that brings together the voice and instrumental polyphony. The texts chosen to crystallise this relationship feature the feeling of disquiet, in a progression from vague expectancy to the presentiment of death. In this manner Ballereau has composed Lettres à des amies-enfants for voice, flute, clarinet, violin, viola and cello (2001) to letters of Lewis Carroll; Psalm for mixed chorus, solo voice and orchestra to the poetry of Georg Trakl (2002); Ichiaku no suma for voice, trio of flutes and string trio to five Tanka of Takuboku Ishikawa (2003); Crumbs for voice and orchestra to three poems of Emily Dickinson (2005); Altas Ondas for voice, violin and clarinet to songs attributed to the troubadour Raimbaut de Vaqueiras (2013).