Aperghis, Georges

Born in Athens in 1945, in 1963 he settled in Paris where he has since worked as an independent composer. The experience gained while running the music theatre workshop Atelier Théâtre et Musique (ATEM), which he founded in 1976, helped him to completely reformulate his approach to composition. He began to take into account not only musicians but also actors. His shows are inspired by everyday life and events that take place in society but transformed into a world of poetry, satire, and the absurd.

During the last decade his works have achieved significant international success. Among them are the oratorio Die Hamlet­ maschine, composed in 2000, as well as the Machinations composed in the same year, commissioned by IRCAM and awarded the Grand Prix de SACEM (French Composers’ Society). 2004 saw the performance of his monodrama Dark Side, composed for Marianne Pousseur and the Ensemble intercontemporain, which incorporated extracts from Aeschylus’s Oresteia. Also in that year his opera Avis de tempête had its world premiere in Lille; it was awarded the Grand Prix de la Critique in 2005. In 2006, his Wölfli­Kantata, based on texts by Adolf Wölfli, was premiered at the Éclats Festival by the Neue Vocalsolisten and the SWR Vokalensemble conducted by Marcus Creed. In 2007, Zeugen, a performance-puppet theatre with texts by Robert Walser, using seven reconstructed hand puppets by Paul Klee, was performed at the Wittener Tage für Neue Kammermusik and Warsaw Autumn festivals. In June 2011, the Agora Festival witnessed the first performance of Luna Park, a stage work commissioned by the Warsaw Autumn Festival and IRCAM.

Selected works (since 1990): Déclamations for baritone, contrabass clarinet and orchestra (1990), Tristes tropiques, opera in three acts to a libretto by Catherine Clément after Claude Lévi-Strauss (1990–95), Tingel Tangel for soprano, dulcimer and accordion (1990), Monomanie, seven songs for female voice to 16th-century French poetry (1991), Ritournelles for two baritones and nine instrumentalists (1992), Cinq calme­plats for female voice (1992), L’Adieu for contralto and large orchestra (1993), Rondo for soprano and mezzo-soprano (1994), Cello Sonata (1994), Ruinen for bassoon / tuba (1994), Simulacre II for soprano, bass clarinet, percussion and marimba (1994), Simulacre III for soprano, two clarinets and marimba (1994), Simulacre IV for bass clarinet (1995), Faux mouvement for string trio (1995), Quatre pièces fébriles for marimba and piano (1995), Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano (1996), Babil for clarinet and 15 instrumentalists (1996), Commentaires for two actors, baritone, cello, piano and viola, to words by Philippe Minyana (1996–97), Totem for eight cellos (1997), Crosswind for viola and saxophone quartet (1997), Tombeau ouvert for piano (1997), Façade­trio for two bass clarinets and percussion (1998), In extremis for eight instrumentalists (1998), Requiem furtif for violin and harpsichord (1998), Zwielicht, music theatre for soprano, actor and five instruments after Paul Klee, Goethe and Kafka (1999; French version Entre chien et loup, 1999), Die Hamletmaschine, oratorio for five soloists, mixed choir and instrumental ensemble to a libretto by Heiner Müller translated by Jean Jourdheuil (1999–2000), La nuit en tête for soprano and instrumental sextet (2000), Machinations for four female voices, electronics and video projection (2000), Le petit chaperon rouge for children and six instruments, after Charles Perrault’s Little Red Riding Hood (2001), Quatorze jac­ tations for baritone (2001), Petrrohl for six voices (2001), Pubs (1 et 2), phonemes spoken or sung for soprano (2002), I. X. for violin (2001–2), Print Music for piano (2002), Dark Side, monodrama for mezzo-soprano and 18 musicians based on Aeschylus’ Oresteia translated by François Regnault (2002), Paysage sous surveillance for two actors, two clarinets, two cellos and two synthesizers, to words by Heiner Müller (2002), Le reste du temps for cello, dulcimer and ensemble (2003), Alter­Face for two pianos (2004), Avis de tempête, opera to a libretto by the composer after Peter Szendy, Melville, Kafka and Hugo (2004), Wölfli ­Kantata for six soloists and mixed choir to words by Adolf Wöl i (2005), Contre temps for soprano and ensemble (2006), Bloody Luna for cello and ensemble (2007), Happy End for ensemble, electronics and animated lm by Hans Op de Beeck after Charles Perrault’s Tom Thumb (2007), Dans le mur for piano and electronics (2007), Teeter–Totter for ensemble (2008), See Saw for ensemble (2008), Quartet Movement for quartet (2009), Happiness Daily for soprano, mezzo-soprano and ensemble (2009), P.S. for saxophone (2010), Les Boulingrin, opera buffa after Georges Courteline (2010), Luna Park, stage work for four performers to a libretto by the composer and François Regnault (2011), Piano Trio (2012), Études pour orchestre (2012–15), Le soldat inconnu for baritone and ensemble (2013), Solo for contrabass clarinet (2013), Retrou­ vailles for two percussions (2013), Wild Romance for soprano and ensemble (2013), Concerto for Accordion and Large Orchestra (2015).