B o r n i n 1 9 5 0 , L a u r e n t P e t i t g i r a r d s t u d i e d t h e p i a n o w i t h S e r g e P e t i t g i r a r d a n composition with Alain Kremski. His catalogue includes more than twenty symphonic ad chambre music works, an opera and more than one hundred and sixty film scores. Among his works may be mentioned the Cello Concerto (premiered by Gary Hoffman), Le Légendaire for violin, chorus and orchestra (first performed by its dedicatee, Augustin Dumay), Le Fou d’Elsa, a song cycle to poems by Aragon for alto voice and orchestra, Le Plus ardent à vivre (septet with harp, premiered by Marielle Nordmann), Poème for large string orchestra, Dialogue for viola and orchestra (world premiered by Gérard Caussé), and Les Douze Gardiens du Temple, a symphonic poem commissioned by Radio France. He has also written an opera, Joseph Merrick dit Elephant Man, to a libretto by Éric Nonn (first staged at Prague State Opera, revived at Nice and, more recentl , at Minneapolis Opera) and has started work on a new opera, Guru, with a libretto by Xavier Maurel, the first performance of which will take place in 2008 at Nice Opera. d
Laurent Petitgirard also pursues a career as a conductor. From 1989 to 1996 he was founded and musical director of the Orchestre Symphonique Français, and, since 2005, has been the music director of the Orchestre Colonne
in Paris. He has been invited to conduct leading orchestras, such as the Paris Opera Orchestra, Orchestre philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre National de Lyon, Bamberger Philharmonike , Berliner Symphonike , onhalle Orchestra of Zürich, Orchestra of La Fenice, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Utah Symphonic Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, KBS Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Spanish National Orchestra. He has also made more than 30 records, and from 1986 to 1997 directed the Festival and the Summer Music Academy of Flaine. Conducting the Orchestre national de Bordeaux Aquitaine, he has just begun a serie of recordings for Naxos.
In 1987 Laurent Petitgirard received the
oung Composer Prize of the SACD, in 2000 the Grand Prix Lycéen for composers and, in 2001, the Music Prize of the SACD for his opera Joseph Merrick dit Elephant Man. In 2000 he was elected Member of the Institut de France, in the Académie des Beaux-Arts, following the death of Marcel Landowski. From 2003 to 2005 he was President of the Board of Directors of the SACEM and is Commandeur des Arts et Lettres.
Frank Langlois translation Jeremy Drake