A French composer and performer born March 23, 1955 in Meaux.
Self-taught as both organist and pianist, Michel Deneuve entered the Conservatory of Dijon in the class for percussion, studied composition with Alain Kremski and Horia Ratiu, and then studied conducting with Françoise Legrand.
In 1975 he discovered the cristal Baschet, finding in it the sound and the instrument that corresponded to himself. He collaborated with Bernard Baschet in improving the manufacture of the instrument and created his own first instrument with horizontal keyboard. Deneuve then developed a technique of playing, a repertory, devoted himself to making the cristal known and recognised. He experimented repeatedly with his instrument, playing with musicians from different countries and styles in the course of his concert tours. In addition to his own compositions he performs works written for him and his cristal, notably by Jean-Christophe Adam-Walrand, Dominique Dupraz, Marcel Landowski and Horatiu Radulescu.
As a composer Deneuve has absorbed influences both classical and contemporary together with a musical culture without frontiers since he considers music to be an invitation to travel for discovering other possibilities. He has written for the stage (L’éveil du printemps of Frank Wedekind, 1995; La nuit de Marina Tsvétaéva of Valéria Moretti, 2001), for ballet (New-York, choreography by Nancy Allison, 1980; Un corps cristal, choreography by Schpouki-Rools, 1992), poetry and the cinema (L’heure de la piscine by Valérie Vinclaire, 1995; Morganez by David Tardé, 2006) as well as for the concert. He has composed many pieces for the cristal, which he combines with all types of formation, for example Fragments d'un rêve for cristal, soprano, female chorus, strings and percussion, commissioned by the French State (1992); À l’orée des mondes, small symphonic tale for chamber orchestra (1995); Unis vers univers for cristal and orchestra, first performed by the composer and the Symphonie du Trocadéro (2000); Imaginaires d’outre mondes for ensemble of cristals, first performed by the ensemble Hope (2005); L'Archange Michel for soprano, countertenor, mixed chorus, cristal and string orchestra, first performed by the composer, the vocal ensemble Syracuse, the Debussy Quartet and the Orchestre à Cordes of the festival Viviers (2012); De source et de racine for soprano, countertenor, flute, percussion, cello and cristal, first performed by Sylvine Lepelcointet, Sébastien Fournier, Christel Rayneau, Hugo Lehenan, Christophe Beau and Michel Deneuve at the festival Plage Musicale in Bangor de Belle-Île-en-Mer (2015); Quantum interstellaire for cristal Baschet and EMI (Embodied Musical Instrument), first performed by the composer and Edgar Hemery at the festival Musique aux Mines (2017).
Michel Deneuve also teaches the cristal. He notably opened a school for the cristal in Paris in workshop of the Baschet brothers in 1998, and he teaches in a class created by the Conservatory of Brive-La-Gaillarde (2003-2010).