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Jacques CASTEREDE was born in Paris in 1926. He obtained his baccalaureat degree at the age of 17 after studying at Lycée Buffon and entered Paris National Music Conservatory where he worked under Armand Ferté in piano, under Tony Aubin in composition and under Olivier Messiaen in analysis.

In 1953, he obtained the Grand Prix de Rome in music composition. He stayed at the Villa Medicis for 4 years composing his «envois de Rome», that is : a Sonata, for piano and violin, Five symphonic dances, for full orchestra, the Livre de Job, for voice solo, instrument solo, chorus and orchestra. Eleven other works were born during this period : Sonatas, for various instruments and often piano. Except for a Concertino, for trumpet, trombone, string orchestra, piano and percussion, the orchestral works are based on a text, such as La grande peur - musical illustration of a radio fable, or on a visual image such as Rubens Descent from the Cross. These works were Radio commissions.

Upon his return from Rome, Jacques Castérède works were favorably accepted and a number of performances were held thanks to the participation of the National Orchestra, the O.R.T.F. (National French Radio) Philharmonic or Chamber Orchestra and the conductors Tony Aubin, Louis de Froment, Pierre Michel Le Conte, Daniel Chabrun, Manuel Rosenthal, etc. Several chamber music pieces were written at this time, among which : La chanson du mal aimé (1960), Feux croisés (1963) for two pianos, a piano Sonata (1965), the Sonata, for alto and piano (1968) and also the But ballet, performed at the Paris Opera in 1963. The storyline and choreography are by Michel Descombey, the decor and costumes by Maurice Henry. The principal dancers were Claire Motte and Attilio Labis.

That same year, Jacques Castérède obtained the Prix du Portique which had previously been awarded to Elsa Barraine and Henri Dutilleux.

Lucienne Bernadac’s television show constituted the first live broadcast of Castérède’s first concert for piano and string orchestra, conducted by Albert Beaucamp. Beaucamp also conducted the taping of the First Symphony for strings with the Rouen chamber orchestra. This show was awarded the Grand Prix National du Disque in 1968 (National Record Prize).

In the following years, Jacques Castérède, a piano virtuoso, went on foreign tours with his repertoire of chamber music : Egypt (1966), Peru and Uruguay (1970), Argentina etc...

First performances of his works were held in Rome, and in the U.S. in Pittsburg and Oswego. The P. Kuentz orchestra contributed to these performances as well as the American Wind Symphony Orchestra, Robert Austin Boudreau conducting. This orchestra regularly ordered works from the composer. Thus Musique pour un conte d’Edgar Poe, Divertissement d’Été (1965), Hymn (1973), Les Fanfares pour La Fayette (1976), and in 1988, ... jusqu’à mon dernier souffle, a piece written for the Statue of Liberty’s hundredth birthday were created.
In parallel to his compositional work, Jacques Castérède also devoted much of his professional career to teaching at Paris National Music Conservatory. At the age of 34, he was appointed solfeggio professor. Then in 1966 he is named professor-dean of studies. In 1977, feeling this job to be too administrative, he prefers the responsability of teaching an upper level, music analysis course, he will go on teaching until 1991. This work is his passion and it takes up much of his time. He does not, however, neglect his composing, nor the chamber music concerts which he
performs as pianist. Thus, since 1970, the following major creations were born : the Second Concerto, for piano and orchestra, the two Concertos, for guitar and orchestra, Trois paysages d’automne, for cello and string orchestra, the quatuor with piano, Avant que l’aube ne vienne, and l’Hommage à Thelonius Monk, for piano, an order from the Marguerite Long International Competition.

Since 1980, a major portion of the compositions have been centered on religious music : Liturgies de la vie et de la mort, the Trois visions de l’Apocalypse, for brass and organ, the VIII Psalm, for soprano, cello and organ, the string quatuor Pro tempore Passionis, and the Cantique de la Création, for solo soprano and baryton,
chorus, instrumental ensemble and organ.

In all these works, the musician’s language is not based on some predetermined system. Dodecaphonic serialism holds no attraction for him. Rather, his style is characterized by the permanent notion of the melodic line, or even theme, and the use of confirmed rythms. His extremely rich harmonic language is used in a completely personal manner : «I started off with fairly traditional music of broadened tonality orienting myself towards increased structural freedom and more conscious coherence of language through the increasingly frequent use of modal, chromatic and diatonic movements». This style gives the composer’s latest creations an undeniably poetic atmosphere, especially in the slow movements which often end his works.

In March and April 1988, Jacques Castérède, in his capacity as composition professor, was invited to China to teach at the Pekin Conservatory and to give a series of conferences on current French music, a mission which was repeated in 1998. That same year, his teaching at the Paris National Music Conservatory was broadened to include composition, a discipline he already taught at the Ecole normale de Musique from 1983 to 1988. Emeritus professor at the Paris National Music Conservatory since 1991, he taught musical analysis at the CNR of Paris untill 1995. In 1991 he was awarded in the Grand Prix de la Ville de Paris for the whole of his work. He has also been at the head of the Société Nationale de Musique since 1992.

See all works composed by Jacques CASTEREDE

Works composed by Jacques CASTEREDE

See all works composed by Jacques CASTEREDE

Books written by Jacques CASTEREDE

See all books written by Jacques CASTEREDE


Crossover drums, Perfect percussion vol. 3
CD Phono Music Audio N° 270005 65 A

American Wind Symphony Orchestra
AWS 104

Geneviève Chanut
REM 10 968XA

Jean-Pierre Jumez
Black disc Festival FLD 500
Christian Chanel «Landmarks»
MFC 01

SONATE, for viola and piano
Marie-Thérèse Chailley et Jacques Castérède
REM 10 987 XA

SONATINE, for trombone and piano
M. Anderson
Crystal Records S385

SONATINE D’AVRIL, for flute and guitar
Fl: Hans-Jörg Werner
Gt: Andreas Maria Hagemann
Thorofon CTH 2136

LA BELLE EPOQUE, for piccolo and paino
CD “Arts” LC 2513

FEUX CROISES, for 2 pianos
Geneviève Ibanez et Jacques Castérède
SONATE, for piano
Hervé Billaut
Hervé Billaut
REM 311 092 XCD

Nicole Fallien, soprano
Brigitte Vinson, mezzo
Didier Henry, baryton
Ensemble vocal de Ville d’Avray
Atelier musique de Ville d’Avray
Dir. : J.L Petit
Nicole Fallien, soprano
Bernadette Dufourcet, organ
Philippe Muller, cello
Ensemble Trompolis
Dir: C. Bardon
disque compact REM 311 121 XCD
(Price of la Nouvelle Académie du disque, 1991)

Quatuor Phillips
Atelier musique de Ville d’Avray
Dir. : J.L Petit
Cecilia piano quartet
REM 311 212 XCD
(Grand Prix du disque de l’Académie Charles Cros 1995)

SONATE, for cello and piano
Liu Wei and Jacques Castérède
Atelier de Musique de Ville d’Avray
Dir. : J.L. Petit
Cello. : Philippe Muller
DONA NOBIS PACEM, for 8 cellos and soprano
Conductor: Jacques Castérède
Sop. : Françoise Masset
REM 311 331 XCD