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Karol Beffa


Karol Beffa, born in 1973, had a general education along with music studies after having been a child actor between the ages of seven and 12, appearing in more than 15 films (in particular, he performed with the Piccolo Teatro di Milano under the direction of Giorgio Strehler and portrayed the 8-year-old Mozart in a television film by Marcel Bluwal). Top of his class at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, he read history (Bachelor’s degree), English (Master’s), philosophy (Master’s at Cambridge University) and mathematics, graduating from ENSAE (Graduate School of Economics, Statistics and Finance). Enrolling at the Paris Conservatoire in 1988, he obtained eight premiers prix (harmony, counterpoint, fugue, 20th-century music, orchestration, analysis, vocal accompaniment, piano improvisation). Coming first in the Agrégation d’éducation musicale, a highly competitive examination for teachers, he taught at the Sorbonne (1998-2003) then at the Ecole Polytechnique (2003-08). In 2003, he earned his doctorate in musicology with a thesis on György Ligeti’s Piano Etudes. Since 2004, he is an Associate Professor at the Ecole Normale Supérieure.
Pianist and improviser, Karol Beffa is a composer whose works have been performed in France (Salle Pleyel, Théâtre du Châtelet, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Auditorium Olivier Messiaen…), Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Russia, the United States and Japan by such well-known ensembles as A Sei Voci, Maîtrise de Radio France, Cambridge Voices, and the leading orchestras (Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre National de l’Opéra de Lyon, Saint Petersburg Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra…). 
In 2000, the Turin International Biennale of Young Artists (BIG Torino 2000) selected him to represent France, and in 2002, he was the youngest French composer programmed at the Présences festival. Since then, he has been guest composer at numerous festivals: Musique en Tréfilerie, Juventus, Bel-Air (2004, 2005), Périgord Noir Festival (2005, 2006), Suona francese, Auvers-sur-Oise, Pianissimes (2008), Young Talents, Les Vacances de Monsieur Haydn (2009), Voix du Printemps at the Sorbonne and ’Annecy Classic’ (2010).
In July 2005, his oratorio-ballet on the life of Mary Magdalene was performed on three occasions in Provence. March 2006 witnessed the first performance of a piece by the Orchestra of Pau, conducted by Fayçal Karoui: this was the first time in France that a public subscription was launched to commission a musical composition. As composer-in-residence of the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse (2006-09), Karol Beffa wrote Paradis artificiels (2007), a Violin Concerto, premiered by Renaud Capuçon (2008), and a Piano Concerto, first performed by Boris Berezovsky (2009). In September 2008, his Trio for Flute, Viola and Harp was premiered at the Berlin Philharmonic Hall, a joint commission by Marie-Pierre Langlamet and the Berlin Philharmonic Foundation. In April 2009, his String Quartet was given its first performance by the Capuçon Quartet in Madrid. In addition, he has composed two incidental scores as well as the music for 12 films.
Karol Beffa is a fellow of the Institut de France in composition and won fellowships from the Lili and Nadia Boulanger Foundation (2001), the Music Academy of Villecroze, Natexis Foundation (2002) and Les Muses fellowship (2004). Finalist of the Prades International Composition Competition (2005, 2007), he has won the Charles Oulmont Prize (2005), the SACEM Young Composer Competition and the Chartier Prize of the Académie des Beaux-Arts (2008). In 2009 and 2010 he was one of the three nominees for the Victoires de la musique award in the Best Composer category. Finally, he was named a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres and is Chair of Artistic Creation at the College de France.


> Premieres

OCTOPUS, for saxophone ensemble
Ensemble Oct’opus
Contres - France

FIVE O’CLOCK, for wind quintet
Klarthe Quintet
Eglise d’Auvers-sur-Oise - Auvers-sur-Oise - France

> News

- CD release: Concerto for trumpet and strings, by the Orchestre d’Auvergne and Romain Leleu (trumpet), under the direction of Roberto Forés Veses, for the label Aparté (AP103).

- CD recording: Concerto for violin and orchestra, and Concerto for piano and orchestra, by the Bratislava Radio Orchestra, with Geneviève Laurenceau (violin), Boris Berezovsky (piano), under the direction of Johan Farjot.

- CD release: Concerto for trumpet and strings, by the Orchestre à cordes de la Garde Républicaine and Eric Aubier (trumpet), under the direction of Sébastien Billard, for the label Indésens (INDE071).


> Premieres

MARMOR, for cello and piano
Concours International de Musique de Chambre de Lyon
Lyon – France

IT RINGS A BELL..., for string trio and piano
Quatuor Abegg
Festival Musiques Vivantes - Vichy - France

> News

- CD release: Five O’clock for wind quintet, by Klarthe Quintet, for the label Klarthe (K004).

- Monographic CD release: Concerto for trumpet and strings, by the Orchestre à cordes de la Garde Républicaine, with Eric Aubier (trumpet), under the direction of Sébastien Billard, Eloge de l’ombre for harp, Blow up for piano and wind quartet, Paysages d’ombres for flute, viola and harp, Subway for trumpet and piano, and Fireworks for saxophone quartet, for the label Indésens (INDE082).


> Premieres

LE BATEAU IVRE, for orchestra
Orchestre national de France - Cond.: Alain Altinoglu
Radio France - Paris - France

PARADISE LOST, for cello and orchestra
MDR Sinfonieorchester - Cello: Gautier Capuçon
Cond.: Kristjan Järvi
Centre des Congrès - Suhl - Allemagne

> News

- CD release: Concerto for trumpet and strings, by Guy Touvron (trumpet), for the label Ligia Digital - LIDI0105316.


> Premieres

TALISMAN, for quintet
Musicians of the Orchestre national de France
Festival Présences - Radio France - Paris - France

> News

- CD-book release: Le Roi qui n’aimait pas la musique, text of Mathieu Laine, by Renaud Capuçon (violin), Edgar Moreau (cello), Paul Meyer (clarinet) and Karol Beffa (piano), by Gallimard jeunesse.

- Grand Prix Sacem of symphonic music 2017.

- Victoires de la Musique Classique 2018: Winner Composer.
Le bateau ivre, for orchestra
 Orchestre national de France - Cond.: Alain Altinoglu
 16/03/2017: Radio France - Paris - France.


> Premieres

BLOW OUT, for piano and strings
Orchestre national d’Île-de-France - Pno: Karol Beffa
Cond.: Julien Leroy
Les Victoires de la Musique, La Seine Musicale - Boulogne-Billancourt - France

ON THE DUST I LOVE, cantata for mezzo-soprano and orchestra
Text by Lord Byron
Orchestre national de Metz - Ms: Albane Carrère
Cond.: David Reiland
Festival Berlioz - La Côte-Saint-André - France

Concours de Chant de Mâcon
Le Théâtre, Scène nationale - Mâcon - France

> News

- Monographic CD release: Douze études for piano, by Tristan Pfaff, for the label Ad Vitam - AV 180915.

See all works composed by Karol BEFFA



Works composed by Karol BEFFA

See all works composed by Karol BEFFA



> 2020 / Klarthe Records K097 - Karol Beffa: Talisman
Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France - Pascal Rophé (conductor)
TALISMAN, for quintet
Sanja Bizjak (piano) - Patrick Messina (clarinet) - Lyodoh Kaneko et Young-Eun Koo (violin) - Allan Swieton (viola) - Marlène Rivière (cello)
DESTROY, for string quintet and piano
Quatuor Renoir - Karol Beffa (piano)
LE BATEAU IVRE, for orchestra
Orchestre national d’Île-de-France - Alain Altinoglu (conductor)

> 2018 / Ad Vitam AV 180915 - Karol Beffa : Douze études
DOUZE ETUDES, for piano
Tristan Pfaff (piano)

> 2016 / Indésens INDE082 - Blow up
CONCERTO POUR TROMPETTE, for trumpet and strings
Orchestre à cordes de la Garde Républicaine - Eric Aubier (trumpet) - Sébastien Billard (conductor)
BLOW UP, for piano and wind quartet
Ensemble Initium - karol Beffa (piano)
ELOGE DE L’OMBRE, for harp
Marie-Pierre Langlamet (harp)
SUBWAY, for trumpet and piano
Eric Aubier (trumpet) - Laurent Wagschal (piano)
PAYSAGES D’OMBRES, for flute, viola and harp
Vincent Lucas (flute) - Lise Berthaud (viola) - Marie-Pierre Langlamet (harp)
FIREWORKS, for saxophone quartet
Quatuor de saxophones Jean-Yves Fourmeau

> 2009 / Triton TRI 331157 - Masques
LES OMBRES QUI PASSENT, for viola and piano
 MIRAGES, for 4 hands piano
 SUPPLIQUE, for violin solo
 MASQUES I et II, for violin and cello
 MANHATTAN, for viola and piano

Ensemble Contraste: Arnaud Thorette (viola), Johan Farjot (piano), Geneviève Laurenceau (violin), Antoine Pierlot (cello)


> 2017 / Gallimard Jeunesse Musique - Le Roi qui n’aimait pas la musique (CD-book)
Text by Mathieu Laine
Renaud Capuçon (violin) - Edgar Moreau (cello) - Paul Meyer (clarinet) - Karol Beffa (piano) - Patrick Bruel (narrator)

> 2017 / Ligia Digital LIDI0105316 - Itinérances musicales
Guy Touvron (trumpet)

> 2016 / Klarthe K004 - French Touch
FIVE O’CLOCK, for wind quintet
Klarthe Quintet

> 2015 / DECCA 0289 481 616 4 - (R)Evolution
SUITE, for piano
Vanessa Benelli Mosell (piano)

> 2015 / Aparté AP103 - Trumpet Concertos Romain Leleu
CONCERTO POUR TROMPETTE, for trumpet and string orchestra (premiere)
Orchestre d’Auvergne - Romain Leleu (trumpet) - Roberto Forés Veses (conductor)

> 2015 / Indésens Records INDE071 - Modern Trumpet Concertos Eric Aubier
CONCERTO POUR TROMPETTE, for trumpet and string orchestra (premiere)
Orchestre à cordes de la Garde Républicaine - Eric Aubier (trumpet) - Sébastien Billard (conductor)

> 2013 / DUX 965 - Saxophone Conversations
OBSESSION, for saxophone
Alicja Wolynczyk (saxophone)

> 2013 / La Dolce Volta LDV 04 - J.S. BACH_transcriptions_Ensemble Contraste
ARIA ERBARME DICH MEIN GOTT (Bach / Beffa), pour piano
 - Passion selon Saint Matthieu BWV 244 -

Karol Beffa (piano)

> 2012 / Indésens Records INDE044 - Ground IV
FEUX D’ARTIFICE, for clarinet quartet (premiere)
Quatuor Vendôme: Franck Amet (clarinet), Nicolas Baldeyrou (clarinet), Alexandre Chabod (clarinet), Julien Chabod (clarinet)

> 2012 / Egan Records 00046 - Anneleen Lenaerts
ELOGE DE L’OMBRE, for harp
Anneleen Lenaerts (harp)

> 2012 / Gallimard Jeunesse Editions Nathan - L’oeil du loup
L’OEIL DU LOUP, for narrator and orchestra
Orchestre de chambre de Paris - Daniel Pennac (narrator) - Jean Deroyer (conductor)

> 2011 / Gérard Billaudot Éditeur - Oblivion
OBLIVION, for string orchestra
Orchestre des Jeunes du CRR de Paris - Lucia Barathova (violin solo) - Virgile Guglielmi (violin solo) - Xavier Delette (conductor)

> 2010 / Polymnie POL 570 170 - Fantasy
BUENOS AIRES, brass quintet (premiere)
Feeling Brass Quintet: Romain Leleu (trumpet), Loïc Sonrel (trumpet), Hugues Viallon (horn), Florent Didier (trombone), Frédéric Marillier (tuba)

> 2009 / Intrada INTRA 034 - Après une lecture de Bach
Marina Chiche (violin)

> 2008 / Ameson ASCP 0815 - B.A.C.H. ianas & transcriptions
ARIA ERBARME DICH MEIN GOTT (Bach / Beffa), for piano
 - Passion selon Saint Matthieu BWV 244 -

David Bismuth (piano)

> 2008 / Indésens Records INDE008 - Romain Leleu : Révélation Soliste Instrumental
SUBWAY, for trumpet (premiere)
Romain Leleu (trumpet) - Julien Le Pape (piano)

> 2006 / Virgin Classics 0946 332626 2 1 - Inventions
MASQUES I et II, for violin and cello
Renaud Capuçon (violin) - Gautier Capuçon (cello)

> 2006 / Ameson ASCP 0505 - Dutilleux Beffa
SILLAGES, for piano
 SIX ETUDES, for piano

Lorène de Ratuld (piano)

> 2001 / Triton TRI 331143 - Debussy en miroir
3 ETUDES (from SIX ETUDES for piano)
 N° II, III et IV

Dana Ciocarlie (piano)