karol BEFFA


" Concerto pour violon et orchestre "

Editions Gérard Billaudot

Of Swiss and Polish origine, Karol Beffa, French nationality, was born in 1973, studied in parallel, general studies and music after having been an actor in more than fifteen films between the age of seven and twelve (he played with the Piccolo Teatro di Milano under the direction of Giorgio Strehler and played Mozart at eight years old in the television movie of Marcel Bluwal).

Received first at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Ulm), he studied history (BA), English (MA), philosophy (Master at the University of Cambridge) and mathematics: he graduated from the National School for Statistics and Economic Administration (ENSAE). He entered the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique in Paris in 1988, he obtained eight first Prizes (harmony, counterpoint, fugue, twentieth-century music, orchestration, analysis, vocal accompaniment, piano improvisation), but no reward in composition (2003)...

Received the first aggregation of music education, he taught at the University of Paris IV-Sorbonne (1998-2003), then the Ecole Polytechnique (2003-2008). He received a doctorate in 2003 in musicology in submitting a doctoral thesis on studies for piano by Gyorgy Ligeti. He has been lecturering at the Ecole Normale Supérieure since 2004 (Ulm).

Pianist, Karol Beffa has appeared several times as a soloist with orchestra, played at the Salle Cortot, Salle Gaveau at the Festival de Radio-France Montpellier Festival Piano en Valois, the Halle aux Grains in Toulouse, the Festival du Perigord. He also performs regularly in concert, accompanying readers of texts and silent films: at the Sorbonne, in the Auditorium of the Musée d'Orsay, the Forum des Images, at the Pantheon Theater, the Cinematheque de Toulouse. He gives improvised concerts on themes suggested by the public, he is one of the few pianists to do this in Europe.

Composer his works have been performed in France (Salle Pleyel, Théâtre du Châtelet, Olivier Messiaen Auditorium...), Germany, Italy, Britain, Russia, the United States and Japan by ensembles as well known as'A Sei Voci, the Maîtrise de Radio France, the Cambridge Voices and the major orchestras (Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre de l'Opéra de Lyon, Orchestre de Bretagne, Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie, Baltic Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestra of St. Petersburg, London Symphony Orchestra...). He has received commisions for festivals: Saint Lizier, Juventus, Couperin concerts, the Festival of Sacred Art of the Abbey of Sylvanès, the Festival of Woodlands.

In 2000, the International Biennial of Young Artists of Turin (Torino BIG 2000) selected him to represent France. In 2002, he was the youngest French composer programmed for the Festival Présences. For 2004, le Festivale Musique en Tréfelerie devoted a retrospective of him and the VIP lounge of the Invalides a portrait in the form of two concerts.

Order of Musique Nouvelle en Liberté, his work fictions was played nine times by the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire. In September, the musical events of Bel-Air, he was invited by the Capuçon brothers for whom he wrote at their request, Masques. In July 2005, an oratorio-ballet about the life of Mary Magdalene was heard three times in Provence. In September, he was the guest composer of the Festival of Black Perigord and was again in 2006. March 2006 saw the creation of a play by the Orchestre de Pau, led by Fayçal Karoui: it was the first time in France,that a subscription was launched to the public to commision a composer. Residing composer with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse in 2006, the creation in January 2008,of his Concerto pour Violin has been acclaimed by the press.

After several pieces - Metropolis, La Nef des Fous, Clockwork Orange, Studies 2 and 5 Piano - which the composer explores primarily the pole rhythm, nervous, crazy, disjointed in his imagination (the "clocks" in the terminology of Ligeti's piece about "Clocks and Clouds"), Karol Beffa returns to his first loves and returns to climate stalls, contemplative, harmonic (the "clouds" of Ligeti). In May-June 2008, Karol Beffa was the guest composer of the Festival of Auvers-sur Oise and Suona inglese (Rome), in July of "pianissimi" Neuville-sur-Saone. September 2008 saw the creation of the Berlin Philharmonic in a trio of flute, viola and harp, co-control Langlamet Marie-Pierre and the Foundation of the Berlin Philharmonic, January 2009 saw one of a trio at the Theatre Champs-Elysees in February a piece for the London Symphony Orchestra at the Salle Pleyel, in March, that of a piece for baroque ensemble at CRR de Cergy, in April, one of a string quartet for the quartet Capuçon (Madrid) in May, that of a piano concerto, at the request of Boris Berezovsky, with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse.

Karol Beffa is the author of eight film scores, including two currently in theaters: Le Théatre des opérations Benoît Rossel, and Sur ta joue enemie by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade (which was obtained in 2002 an Oscar in Hollywood for Un coupable idéal).

Karol Beffa was a fellow of the Institute of France in composition (2001), winner of the Foundation Lili and Nadia Boulanger (2001), Fellow of the Academy of Music Villecroze and winner of the Natexis Foundation (2002), winner of the award of the Muses (2004), finalist International Composition Prades (2005 and 2007), winners of the Charles Oulmont (2005), the young composer Prize of the SACEM (2008), Chartier Award of the Academy of Fine Arts (2008).

In 2009, he was one of three,appointed to the Victoires de la Musique in the category "best composer".

Discography :

- Six Studies, Wakes and vowels for piano (for Lorène of Ratuld, Ame Son), favorite of the Académie Charles-Cros, recommended by Arte

- Three Etudes for piano (by Dana Ciocarlie, Triton)

- Metropolis (by Arnaud Thorette and Johan Farjot, Accord / Universal)

- masques I and II (by Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Virgin Classics)

- Subway (for Romain Leleu et Julien Le Pape, Indésens)

- Après une lecture de Bach ... (By Marina Chiche, Intrada)

- Improvisations (by Karol Beffa, Intrada)

- Eloge de l'ombre (by Anneleen Lenaerts, Egan records)


monographic disc of chamber music (all contrast, Triton)



Of one-half hour, the violin concerto is the third piece concertante I made, after a short Piece Concertante for Violin, Cello and Orchestra (2003), a Concerto for Trumpet and Strings (2005) and before Piano Concerto Boris Berezovsky asked me to write and must be created next season.

As a long song,the concerto developsin two movements three themes apparently serene, really haunting, which range from the celebration of feeling and expression of feeling. These themes will gradually be transformed, as inhabited by their own contagion.

For the first, this transformation takes the form of precipitation, the hiccups, the Panting and speed. In the two others, the transformation is in line with a stretching, dilation, and takes on drama. It follows the line of the violin in its hesitations, its torment, in a stroll first through tranquil scenery, then more disturbing. The plot is angular, almost rugged, with sharp edges, before rising in extremis and coming to rest on the soft carpet of strings. Paradoxical serenity, like a perpetual sleep.

For the entire concerto, I wanted a script that allows the soloist to soar above changes in textures and harmonies, sometimes gradual, sometimes abrupt: in this, I was inspired by the exceptional quality of sound of Renaud Capuçon, to whom the concerto is dedicated.

Karol Beffa