A French composer born June 6, 1924 in Paris who died November 12, 2008 in Paris.
A pupil of Olivier Messiaen and Simone Plé-Caussade at the Paris Conservatory, Serge Nigg subsequently completed his training with René Leibowitz who initiated him into dodecaphonism. With this he composed Variations for piano and ten instruments (1946), the first strictly dodecaphonic French work. Serge Nigg subsequently distanced himself from serialism, his political convictions guiding him towards a kind of music more accessible to everyone.
His works, characterised by orchestral refinement and a continuous sense of momentum, are imbued with humanism, mysticism, buddhism, marxism and atonality. His catalogue includes chamber music (String Quartet, 1982; three Piano Sonatas), orchestral works (Jérôme Bosch-Symphonie, 1959; Le chant du dépossédé for baritone, reciter and orchestra, 1964 ; Visages d’Axel, 1967; Fulgur, 1969) as well as musical illustrations for radiophonic pieces (Histoire d’œuf, 1961). His work as a whole received the Grand Prix of the Sacem in 1978.
In parallel with his career as a composer, Serge Nigg has devoted himself to the development of musical life in France, as inspector of French opera houses and teacher first of composition then of instrumentation and orchestration at the Paris Conservatory. He has also been president of the Académie des Beaux-Arts and president of the French Institute.