A French composer born in 1958 in Torteron.
A pianist by training, Gérard Pesson studied letters and musicology at the Sorbonne before entering the Paris Conservatory in the analysis and composition classes of Betsy Jolas and Ivo Malec.
A composer in residence at the Villa Medici (1990-1992), Pesson finds inspiration as much in the visual arts as in literature and the music of the past. HE has developed a style based notably on the fragmentation of material and of form, a dramatisation of the instrumental gesture and the use of new modes of play. Sustained by a constant pulsation, his music is often short, or formed from a liking for short moments. He has composed chamber music, orchestral works as well as several operas. His works include Dispositions furtives for two amplified pianos, commissioned by the French State (1988); Récréations françaises, nine bagatelles for flute, oboe, clarinet and string trio, first performed by the ensemble Recherche (1995); Forever Valley, opera for seven singers, an actress and six instruments, commissioned by T&M and first performed by the ensemble 2e2m (2000); Aggravations et Final for orchestra, first performed by the Symphony Orchestra of the WDR conducted by Lukas Vis (2002); Pastorale, opera premiered by the orchestra of Stuttgart Opera conducted by Kwamé Ryan (2005); Cantate égale pays for solo voices, ensemble and electronics, first performed by the vocal ensemble Exaudi and L’Instant Donné (2010); La double coquette, chamber opera premiered by the ensemble Amarillis (2014); Trois contes, chamber opera premiered by the ensemble Ictus conducted by Georges-Élie Octors (2018); Chante en morse durable, concerto for orchestra and accordion (2020).
In 2018 Gérard Pesson received the Prix du Président de la République from the Académie Charles Cros for his work as a whole.
Founder of the contemporary music revue Entretemps (1986-1992) and producer for France Musique (1985-2014), Gérard Pesson has written and published his intimate diary Cran d'arrêt du beau temps (2004). He has also taught composition at the Paris Conservatory since 2006.