Born December 9, 1927 in Paris, Pierre Henry spent the early years of his childhood in the countryside. From 1937, he began studying music at the Paris Conservatory. He learned composition with Nadia Boulanger, piano and percussion with Felix Passeronne and harmony with Olivier Messiaen.
After a first experience as pianist and percussionist in an orchestra, he joined in 1946 Pierre Schaeffer in the studios of French Radio and Television (RTF). First recruited by him as percussionist Pierre Henry quickly becomes a friend and contributes as a composer. This collaboration produced a founding work of concrete music: the Symphonie pour un homme seul (Symphony for a Lonely Man). This work will be choreographed in 1949 by Maurice Béjart.
Pierre Henry is hired by the studios of the RTF as head of the Concrete Music Research Group (GRMC). This group, founded in 1951, was renamed GRM (Musical Research Group) in 1958. It was not until 1953 at the Donaueschingen Festival, to see in a concert the first concrete opera, Orphée (Orpheus), written by Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry in 1951.
In 1958, following disagreements among others, aesthetic, Pierre Henry leaves the RTF to found his own studio: APSOME (Sound Processing Applications in Electroacoustic Music). In this first private studio dedicated to research, he continued his pure research, exploring new techniques, adapting the technology then in constant evolution.
Moving forward, Pierre Henry creates a second music research studio: Son/Ré. Located in the twelfth arrondissement of Paris, this studio has the support of the Ministry of Culture and the City of Paris in 1990. Over seventy new works are created there.
In 1949 began a prolific collaboration with choreographer Maurice Béjart. At the suggestion of the latter, Pierre Henry composes a work that will be his signature for the general public: Messe pour le temps présent (Mass for the Present Time) (co-written with Michel Colombier). On this music, composed as a suite of dances, Béjart created a choreography performed for the first time at the Avignon Festival in 1967. The public particularly notes Psyché Rock, which has become a hit.
Pierre Henry continues to innovate and renew his creative style. His early compositions in a minimalist style (Le voyage, 1962) give way to works of greater magnitude (Hugosymphonie, 1985).
Great collector and sound sculptor, Pierre Henry becomes a reference for many electronic artists who offer him in 1997 for his seventy years, a remix of his famous Messe pour le temps présent.
In 2012, Pierre Henry created Le Fil de la vie (Life Wire) at Cité de la musique in Paris, and said that he was delivering a kind of testament: this work is "the decomposition of some of my works. An introspective journey... In my work the games at the microphone, rhythms and screaming, all that expressive language runs like a thread the scale of my bodily and emotional states during life."
Pierre Henry in three dates
1937 entered the Conservatory and took lessons with Nadia Boulanger, Olivier Messiaen
1946 met Pierre Schaeffer
1949 started a collaboration with Maurice Béjart
Pierre Henry in three works
1950 first performance of the Symphonie pour un homme seul
1967 first performance at the Avignon Festival of the Messe pour le Temps présent
2012 first performance in Paris, Cité de la musique, of the work Le Fil de la vie
Source : http://www.francemusique.fr/personne/pierre-henry