Philippe Schœller

Philippe Schœller (b. 1957) studied piano with Jean-Claude Henriot, harmony and counterpoint with Béatrice Berstel, symphony conducting with Gérard Dervaux at the École normale de musique de Paris, and analysis with Robert Piencikowski. From 1982 to 1986, in Paris, he followed classes with Pierre Boulez at the Collège de France as well as the master classes taught by Franco Donatoni at the conservatory and the free classes taught by Iannis Xenakis at the École des hautes études. His encounters with Helmut Lachenmann, Henri Dutilleux, and Elliott Carter are among those that marked him most. He also supplemented his training as a musician by studying musicology and philosophy at the Sorbonne. Schœller also followed computer-music courses at IRCAM before carrying out work on sound synthesis with the goal of creating a new way of making musical instruments in harmony with traditional methods.

Philippe Schœller has given several conferences and teaches analysis and composition at the CNSM in Lyon. He has also taught master classes at the Copenhagen Conservatory in 2004, at the Hochschule in Hanover in 2004, and at IRCAM in 2005.

When describing Philippe Schœller’s style, one could use words like color, transparence, and subtlety but also energy, flexibility, movement, and organic forms. His writing, varying from austere solo pieces – Hypnos linea (2007) – to large-scale orchestral works – Ritualis Totems (2006-2007) – attest to a great attention to detail and to a certain sort of quest for vertigo, part of his passion for “textural perceptions” made up of waves, winds breezing through reeds and clusters of trees, the flight of starlings, clouds and galaxies of natural happenings. His catalogue counts over 75 works performed worldwide.