Born on 1981, he began studying composition in 1996 with Ivan Fedele at the National Conservatoire in Strasbourg, from which he graduated with honours in 2000. In 2000-1, he attended a composition course at IRCAM, where he worked notably with Philippe Hurel, Tristan Murail, Brian Ferneyhough, and Jonathan Harvey.
He was a founding member of the Ensemble Accroche Note and Ensemble In Extremis. With them, he collaborated with composers such as Ivan Fedele, Pascal Dusapin, Michael Jarrell, Mark Andre, Wolfgang Rihm, and others.
His compositions have been conducted and performed notably by Pierre Boulez, Jonathan Nott, Hannu Lintu, Marc Albrecht, Pascal Rophé, Guillaume Bourgogne, leading ensembles and soloists including the Ensemble Intercontemporain, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France, Quatuor Arditti, Accroche Note, Ensemble Court-Circuit, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Ensemble Aleph, Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra, Ensemble Intégrales, Divertimento Ensemble, Ensemble Musicatreize, Quatuor Mandelring, Avanti!, and soloists including Garth Knox, Irvine Arditti, Hideki Nagano, Juliette Hurel, Jean-Marie Cottet, Jérôme Comte, Claire-Marie Le Guay, Marc Coppey, Jan Michiels, Ilya Gringolts, Sébastien Vichard, and Ferenc Vizi.
His works have been performed at festivals and in venues including Strasbourg's Musica, Aix-en-Provence, Serres d'Auteuil, Agora, Beethovenfest, Ultraschall, Lucerne, Ars Musica, Venice's Festival Suona Francese, Parma's Traiettorie, Spoleto, Gaudeamus, IRCAM, Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt, Hamburg Opera, La Fenice, Concertgebouw, and many others.
His work was commissioned notably by the Ensemble Intercontemporain, Lucerne Festival, Aix-en-Provence Festival, Beethovenfest (Bonn), Orchestre National d'Île de France, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Musica Festival, Les Percussions de Strasbourg, Auditorium du Louvre, André Boucourechliev Fondation, Les Musicales de Colmar, Radio Berlin-Brandeburg, the French government, Accroche Note, Ensemble Musicatreize, as well as several private sponsors.
His awards included the Music Prize from the Académie des Marches de l'Est (2001), an honourable mention at the Gaudeamus Festival and the Earplay Prize (2002), SACEM's Hervé Dugardin Prize (2007), and Académie des Beaux-Arts' André Caplet Prize (2007). He resided at Rome's Villa Medicis on a scholarship from the French Academy in 2008-9.
Christophe Bertrand died on 17 September 2010 at the age of 29.
Selected works: Strofa II for female voice, violin and piano (1998), Skiaï for five instruments (1998-99), Strofa IIb for female voice, alto flute / flute in C and piano (1998-2000), La chute du rouge for clarinet, cello, vibraphone and piano (2000), Treis for violin, cello and piano (2000), Dikha for clarinet / bass clarinet and electronics (2000-1), Extra for flute (2001), Yet for 20 musicians (2002), Iôa for eight-voice female choir (2003), Haos for piano (2003), Aus for soprano saxophone, clarinet in B / bass clarinet, viola and piano (2004), Virya for flute, clarinet in B / bass clarinet, piano and percussion (2004), Madrigal for soprano and ensemble (2004-5), Mana for large orchestra (2004-5), String Quartet no. 1 (2005-6), Sanh for bass clarinet, cello and piano (2006), Vertigo for two pianos and orchestra (2006-7), Hendeka for violin, viola, cello and piano (2007), Kamenaia for 12 voices (2008), Arashi na alt (2008), Dall'inferno for flute, viola and harp (2008), Haiku for piano (2008), Satka for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and percussion (2008), Diadem for soprano, clarinet and piano (2008), Scales for ensemble (2008-9), Ayas, fanfare for brass and percussion (2010), Okhtor for orchestra (2010), String Quartet no. 2 (2010).