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François-Bernard Mâche

French composer of mostly orchestral, chamber, choral, vocal, piano, and electroacoustic works that have been performed throughout the world; he is also active as a writer.

Mr. Mâche was born into a family of musicians and began composing at age eight. He studied harmony with Émile Passani at the Conservatoire à rayonnement régional Emmanuel-Chabrier in Clermont-Ferrand and graduated with prizes in piano in 1951 and harmony in 1952. He later studied with Olivier Messiaen at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, where he earned the Prix de Philosophie de la Musique in 1960. He also studied classical literature at the École Normale Supérieure de Paris from 1955–59 and there earned a diploma in archaeology from Greece in 1957 and the teaching certificate Agrégation de lettres classiques in 1958. He then took classes in ancient art at the Université Paris Sorbonne-Paris IV in 1959 and later studied in Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand in 1972.

Among his honours are the Prix de la Biennale de Paris (1963, for Safous Mélè, Op. 5), the Grand Prix du Disque from the Académie Charles-Cros (1971, for a recording of Danaé, Op. 21), the Prix Georges Enesco from SACEM (1973), the Prix Italia (1977), the Prix Chartier from the Académie des Beaux-Arts (1984), the Grand Prix National de la Musique from the Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication of France (1988), the Prix Rossini from the Académie des Beaux-Arts (1998), and the Grand Prix de la Musique Symphonique from SACEM (2002). He has been a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts since 2002. In addition, he was named a Docteur d'État ès Lettres et Sciences Humaines in 1980 and a Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1990, both by the government of France. More than 40 portrait concerts have been given in the Americas, Asia and Europe.

As a writer, he served as music critic of the magazine La Nouvelle Revue française from 1969–78. He has written more than 100 articles, mainly on musicological subjects, as well as the book Musiquemythenature ou les dauphins d'Arion (1983, Klincksieck; second edition, 1991; Italian translation asMusicamitonatura, 1992, Cappelli Editore; English translation as MusicMythNature, 1993, Harwood Academic Publishers), a collection of his articlesEntre l'observatoire et l'atelier (1998, Éditions Kimé), the book Un Demi-Siècle de Musique (2000, Éditions L'Harmattan), and the book Musique au singulier(2001, Éditions Odile Jacob). Moreover, he has made French translations of modern poems from Greece, including works by Odysseas Elytis, and served as editor of the books MusicSociety and Imagination in Contemporary France (1993, Harwood Academic Publishers) and Portrait(sde Xenakis (2002, Bibliothèque Nationale de France).

Mr. Mâche is also active in other positions. He produced experimental films for RTF in 1958 and was a member of the Groupe de Recherches Musicales in Paris from 1958–63, during which time he served as a second lieutenant in Algeria from 1960–62. He worked at the studio for electronic music in Gravesano in 1965 and in Warsaw in 1966. He produced a broadcast series for France Musique in 1976 and served as president of the section in France of ISCM from the late 1970s–early 1980s.

He taught literature at the Collège Sévigné in Paris in 1959–60, the Lycée Marceau in Chartres in 1962–63 and the Lycée Pasteur in Neuilly-sur-Seine from 1963–68. He taught at Middlebury College in Vermont and Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers, New York in 1968 and taught classical literature from Ancient Rome, France and Greece at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris from 1968–83. He then taught musicology at the Université de Strasbourg from 1983–93, where he founded the Centre Primus in 1987, and served as director of studies at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris from 1993–97. He has lectured in Estonia, France, Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Venezuela.

His primary publisher is Éditions Durand-Salabert-Eschig, though recent works are unpublished.