A French composer born October 1st, 1956.
A self-taught musician, Sylvain Kassap met Luc Ferrari at the University of Paris-Vincennes, where he followed a degree course in ethnomusicology. A saxophonist and specialist of the bass clarinet, he worked with Michel Portal and Bernard Vitet before distinguishing himself in improvised music and jazz, in particular in collaboration with actors (Jacques Bonnaffé, Philippe Duquesne, etc.), writers (François Bon, Jacques Darras, etc.), electroacoustic technicians (éRikm, Thierry Balasse, etc.) or with groups he himself directs.
He also performs the modern and contemporary repertories of the clarinet, and has given premieres of, notably, works by Bernard Cavanna, Luc Ferrari, Jacques Rebotier and François Rossé. With Hélène Breschand and Franck Masquellier he founded Laborintus, an ensemble devoted to giving first performances.
Composing at first for the stage, the cinema, dance and television, Kassap subsequently developed an original, resolutely contemporary style that blends traditional notation and updates of the idea of the ‘open work’ with his experience as a performer and improviser as well as his knowledge of world music. He has composed for many soloists and ensembles, including Ars Nova (Chordial for two voices, bass clarinet and ensemble, 2002; La langue d’après Babel, for two voices and two ensembles, 2009), Alternance (E Sparire for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and percussion, 1996), and Laborintus (Cinq movements de la jeune fille for cello, harp and percussion, 2013).