Alain Weber was born on 8 December 1930 in Château-Thierry.
In 1941 he entered the Paris Conservatory and studied in the classes of Robert Dussault for theory, Jules Gentil for the piano, René Challan for harmony, Noël Gallon for counterpoint and fugue, Tony Aubin for composition and Olivier Messiaen for analysis and musical philosophy.
He won a first Grand Prix of Rome in 1952. At the Villa Medici he composed a sonatina for flute and bassoon, a wind quintet, five poems for voice and orchestra (1953), a Suite pour une pièce vue (1954), a symphony (1955), a concertino for horn and string orchestra with a clarinet sextet. Musical expression in his vocation is freedom of expression, without any spirit of system. Alain Weber’s aim is to create music that is pure, fundamentally removed from any descriptive or figurative design.
In 1957, on his return from the Villa Medici, he was appointed harmony teacher at the lycée La Fontaine. From 1959 he was teaching at the Paris Conservatory: in charge of dictation, theory and harmony for the teacher training class, he was coach for Henri Challan’s harmony class and on occasion oversaw the classes of Noël Gallon and Tony Aubin. In 1970 he became study counselling teacher.
After having won the Prix Sogeda (the performing rights society of Monaco) for his ballet Le petit Jeu (1951), Weber received, in 1982, the Grand Prix Audiovisuel de l’Europe awarded by the Académie du Disque Français for his stage work La rivière perdue, to a text by Michel Schilovitz. His compositions have generally been widely performed in both France and abroad at many festivals.
In his music Weber develops the exploration of all styles. His output includes a few works in free serialism (Variations for dectet, 1965; Synecdoque for oboe, 1970), works in which he develops quarter-tone writing (Quartet for saxophones, 1984; Constellaire, 1994), yet also works that employ various more indeterministic techniques of composition, such as the use of transparent sheets that, at different angles, create transformations of pre-established melodic and harmonic ideas (Linéaires I for saxophone and orchestra, 1973; Linéaires II for octet, 1977; Linéaires III for six ondes Martenot, 1977). Alain Weber is also interested in the poetic art: he returned to the spirit of the pantoum, a fixed-form poem of Malay origin (Strophes, 1965), of the acrostic (Études acrostiches, 1973), and took inspiration also from the phonemes of Jean Cocteau’s Poème de l'Étoile in order to create an onomatopoeic vocal expression (Phonèminie, 1983; Le "Chan" du Potager, 1984). Each work features a different musical concern, yet his compositions nonetheless evolve through a certain unity, never showing any real break.
Alain Weber has led in parallel his activities as composer and teacher, writing many pedagogical works on theory and rhythm (Soixante leçons de lecture rhythmique, 1964; Leçons progressives de lecture and de rythme, 1966; Manuel de lecture simultanée des clés, 1974; Tableaux synthétiques des règles du contrepoint, 1993, etc.). For children he composed the musical tale Le rusé petit Jean (1984), as well as instrumental teaching works. His pedagogical research has led him to use aleatory and flexible techniques that can be assimilated by young performers (Concertante for guitar and guitars, 1993).
As part of the competition for the recruitment of teachers in state-controlled music schools and conservatories Alain Weber was put in charge of jury presidencies. At the request of the French Foreign Ministry, of the AFAA and of foreign governments, he undertook missions in Tunisia, Spain, Korea, Canada, Yugoslavia and Taïwan, where he organised various music and pedagogical seminars. He also presided over the first International Queen Sophia Competition organised in Madrid.
Alain Weber was a member of the symphonic commission of the Sacem from 1980 to 1983, and later a member of the reading panel of Radio France. He is also Officier de l’Ordre National du Mérite.