Alexandre Lévy was born in 1971. He studied the piano at the Saint–Maur Conservatory, where he won a gold medal in 1988. He was a pupil of Pierre Sancan, Marie Madeleine Petit and Anne-Marie de la Villéon. At the Paris Conservatory he followed the teaching of Michèle Reverdy and Edith Lejet in classes of theory and orchestration (1994-1997). He completed his training at the Boulogne Conservatory in the electroacoustic class of Michel Zbar. In 1999 he met François Donato and Christian Zanési, who welcomed him and followed his work in the studios of Radio France.
As a pianist he accompanied the singing class of Béatrice Gaucet at the Maîtrise de Notre-Dame de Paris (1998-2001). He was repetiteur for Purcell’s King Arthur at the Théâtre du Châtelet with Les Arts Florissants conducted by William Christie (1998-1999). He has also appeared in recitals, concerts and spectacles with Jane Rhodes, Simon Edwards, Sylvia Kervokian, Guy Vivès and others in such venues as the Cité de la Musique and the Coupole-Lafayette in Paris, the Domaine National de Champs-sur-Marne (Seine-et-Marne).
Alexandre Lévy is also choral director for the Maîtrise de Radio France (2005-2006) and is associated notably with productions of the Arcal with Olivier Dejours. He took part in productions of Cosi fan tutte and Don Giovanni by Mozart (2000-2001), Gounod’s Faust (2001-2002), and Verdi’s Nabucco at the Stade de France (2008). He has collaborated with the choral directors Valérie Fayet, Catherine Simonpietri, Jean-Marie Puissant, Toni Ramon, etc.
He has been music director for many productions including, in 2003-2004, Noye’s Fludde by Benjamin Britten and, in 2007-2008, Hypocondriac 1er, a comic opera by Louis Dunoyer de Segonzac.
Alexandre Lévy has developed an original approach to transcription and instrumentation in revisiting stage works such as Mesdames de la Halle, The Barber of Seville, for which he was, in 1997, music director, transcriber and adapter for children’s chorus. He has made many arrangements for amateur ensembles of contemporary pieces by György Kurtag, Luciano Berio, Witold Lutoslawski, etc.
An eclectic and enquiring musician, he has created an individual, polymorphous world, from his multiple experiences in public and his artistic encounters. He has written notably for INA-GRM, the GRAME, Radio France, Péniche Opéra, the Britten Choir. He has received several commissions from the French State and won a bursary from the Fondation Beaumarchais for his chamber opera “L” for voice, invisible chorus, harp and electroacoustics to a libretto by Yves Nilly (2005).
He has composed vocal works (Paroles de poilus, a song cycle based on letters of First World War French soldiers for baritone, piano and tape, 2000; Un jour, un autre, mélodies for mezzo-soprano, piano and electroacoustics, first performed in 2007 at the GRM festival Multiphonies in Paris), operas (Deux jeux de voiles, 1995; Zerballodu, opera for countertenor, youth choir, instrumental ensemble and electroacoustics, 2008), instrumental works (Concerto grosso n° 2 for string ensemble, 2007; Champs de rencontre n° 3 for Celtic harp and viol dessus, 2010; Mobiles for transverse flute and percussion, 2016) and electroacoustics (Mangerie(s), 2008; Les douze coups du Métaphone, 2014). He also tackled the chanson and live show with, notably, the company AMK (Gingko Parrot, ludic/sound performance for young children, with keyboard, fixed sounds and electroacoustics, 2009; Iceberg for voice, keyboard, interactive equipment, video and electroacoustics, 2011; Paradeïsos, pluridisciplinary show, 2014).
Inspired by the crossovers of artistic disciplines, he joined forces with the visual artiste Sophie Lecomte, the choreographer Pedro Pauwels, the photographer Élisabeth Prouvost and others. He fills exterior and interior spaces, from a garden to an abandoned terrain and, focussing on the relationship between art and patrimony, he retranscribes elements of the historical or environmental patrimony in a work that is both visual and musical. In order to provoke feelings and pensive dreaming, he offers poetic listening through the projection of a musical world, developing a special interactivity with the help of captors and computer programming. He has created many such installations: Désordres (2010); Jardins des sensations (2012); Champs d’oiseaux (2013); Jardins miniatures (2014); Arbre de caresses (2015); Side(s), mécanique du présent (2016).
The works of Alexandre Lévy are created within a conception of total immersion: by composing new scores stemming from elements taken from the environment realised by himself in the venues of his creations, he has reinvented the notion of the work in situ, breathing into it a deep dimension of sound appropriation in a new musical poetic. He has been invited notably to Asia and Europe to use this concept in various venues.
In December 2002 he founded the company ‘La Grande Ourse, creation and music action’, that since 2006 has become aKousthéa Cie, bringing together digital art, interactivity and contemporary music. The company is also committed to the struggle against cultural discrimination through an artistic approach to the handicapped public. An adept of social innovation, Levy creates artistic projects adapted to the regular activities of the receiving institution (Sonosphère, interactive installation 2016). He also creates hybrid forms of initiation into sound materials with interactive equipment for very young children: Jardins miniatures, Grains, for example, are works open to inventiveness, allying the feeling of touch to sound materials.
Alexandre Lévy has had many residencies in conservatories, notably for composition at those of Bussy Saint-Georges and of Paris XIII (2003-2004), for the amplified harp and acousmatics at the Cergy-Pontoise Conservatory (2007-2009); yet he has also had residencies in historic venues for the spatialisation of sound and patrimony in Laon (2005-2008), Dourdan (2006-2007), at the Métaphone (2014-2015), an unusual concert hall in the heart of the history of mining in Oignies; and also in various national centres of music creation (CNCM), such as the GRAME (2012-2015) and La Muse en Circuit (2014).
The works of Alexandre Lévy have been performed at the Multiphonies of the GRM, the Biennale Musiques en Scène of the GRAME (2010, 2012, 2016), at the festivals Détours de Babel, Extension (La Muse en Circuit), the Rencontres Internationales de Musique Contemporaine in Cergy, the festival of contemporary music in Enghien, the Académie Ravel of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, at the Toulouse International Song Competition… as well as in interdisciplinary venues that bring together audiences of different horizons: Domaine Régional of Chaumont-sur-Loire, Musée Gadagne in Lyons, Métaphone in Oignies, Fondation La Borie du Limousin, Parc Floral de Paris, etc.
With regard to teaching, Lévy is in charge of the music creation studio of Cergy-Pontoise and he collaborates with the Orchestre National d’Île-de-France for composition workshops in the Île-de-France region, guiding school classes in creative projects connected with the orchestra’s programme. Putting the new technologies into practice, he devises composition modules that combine musical invention and games, and these are put into practice in his residencies, notably at the Montreuil Conservatory (Trois sentiers sonores, pedagogical work with 400 pupils of primary schools in Montreuil), and with high school pupils in Meaux (Notre Radeau). During his residency at the Métaphone in Oignies, he composed with this space-instrument, combining the sound environment and interactive games for children of elementary classes. He also experiments with the forms of open teaching approaches linked to composition in the conservatories where he is in residence.
Lévy thus divides his time between teaching composition and a broadened conception of musical creation.