A French composer born in 1965 in Nogent sur Marne.
Trained at the Paris Conservatory where he obtained eight First Prizes, notably for the organ, improvisation at the organ, composition and orchestration, Thierry Escaich leads a double international career as composer and organist. Titular organist of the church Saint-Étienne-du-Mont (Paris) since 1997, he is a representative of the French organ school of improvisation. With a passionate interest for the cinema, he regularly plays the piano or organ to accompany silent films. He has taught theory and improvisation at the Paris Conservatory since 1992.
Characterised by its rhythmic energy and its polyphonic diversity, his style finds its source both in Gregorian plainchant and in Brahms, Bartók, Ravel and Messiaen, while also taking into account the contribution of traditional music and elements of sacred inspiration. Apart from his own instrument, Escaich has written for the most varied genres and combinations in quest of new sound horizons. His works include Litanies de l’ombre for piano, first performed by Hideki Nagano in the Salle Cortot (1990); Le Dernier Évangile, oratorio for double chorus, orchestra and organ, first performed by Olivier Latry, the choirs of Saint Vincent Cathedral of Saint-Malo, of Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris and the Orchestre de Bretagne, conducted by Edmon Colomer in Saint-Malo (1999); Vertiges de la croix for large orchestra, first performed by the Orchestre National de Lille conducted by Michiyoshi Inoue (2004); Les Nuits hallucinées for mezzo-soprano and orchestra, commissioned by the French State and premiered by Nora Gubisch and the Orchestre National de Lyon conducted by Jun Märkl in Lyons (2008); La Barque solaire for organ and orchestra, first performed by the composer and the Konzerthausorchester of Berlin conducted by Lothar Zagrosek in Berlin (2008); The Lost Dancer, ballet first staged by the New York City Ballet Orchestra conducted by Fayçal Karoui in New York (2010); Claude, an opera first performed by the Orchestra, Chorus and Maîtrise of Lyons Opera conducted by Jérémie Rhorer with stage direction by Olivier Py at Lyons Opera (2013); Night’s birds for vocal ensemble and cello, first performed by Henri Demarquette and the ensemble Sequenza 9.3 conducted by Catherine Simonpietri at the Festival du Périgord Noir (2016); Ritual opening for orchestra, first performed by the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev at the festival of Rotterdam (2019).
Thierry Escaich has had many residencies, notably with the Orchestre National de Lille, the Orchestre de Bretagne, the Orchestre National de Lyon, the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris and the Dresdner Philharmonie. Laureate of the Grand Prix Lycéen for composers (2002), the Grand Prix de la Musique Symphonique of the Sacem (2004), Escaich has four times been voted composer of the year at the Victoires de la Musique Classique (2003, 2006, 2011 and 2017). He was also elected to the Académie des Beaux-arts of the French Institute in 2013.