A French composer born in 1915 at Pont-L'Abbé who died in 1999.
Marcel Landowski studied at the Paris Conservatory (1935-1941) and took advanced classes in conducting with Pierre Monteux. His output is marked by many stage works with a humanist and philosophical basis: Le ventriloque (1955, first performed in Paris), Le fou (1955), Les adieux (1960, premiered at the Opéra Comique), Montségur (1985) and Galina (1996, premiered at Lyons Opera). Influenced by Arthur Honegger, Marcel Landowski was always attached to tonality and concentrated on the research for sound colour adapted to the dramatic moment. Electro-acoustic elements bring added colour (Le fantôme de l'opéra, 1980 first performed at the Opéra Garnier). Respecting classical forms, his last works are more freely organised, with a paring down of language that tends to the quintessence of musical discourse. A personality of commitment, Marcel Landowski initiated a new policies for music in France. First as Inspector General for music then Director of Music (1966-1974), he founded the Orchestre de Paris (1967), renovated the Paris Opera, set up a ten-year plan for aid for musical development, he decentralised the conservatory system and was the driving force behind the setting up of regional orchestras (Orchestre de Lyon, Toulouse, etc.). Director of Cultural Affairs for the City of Paris (1977) and President of the Théâtre Châtelet (1979-1991), he then founded the association Musique Nouvelle en Liberté (1991). In 1975 he was elected to the Académie des Beaux-Arts before becoming chancellor of the Institut de France (1994). He died in 1999, at the age of 84, after having considerably changed the musical landscape of France.