Henri Dutilleux

(b. 22 January 1916, Angers – d. 22 May 2013, Paris).

French composer of mostly orchestral, chamber and piano works that have been performed throughout the world.

Mr. Dutilleux studied counterpoint, harmony and piano with Victor Gallois at the Conservatoire à rayonnement régional de Douai, where he graduated in 1933. He then studied composition with Henri-Paul Büsser, counterpoint and fugue with Noël Gallon, harmony with Jean Gallon, music history with Maurice Emmanuel, and orchestral conducting with Philippe Gaubert at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris from 1933–38.

Among his honours were the Grand Prix de Rome (1938, for L'Anneau du roi [withdrawn]), the Grand Prix National de la Musique (1967, for his œuvre), the Praemium Imperiale in Music in Japan (1994, for his œuvre), the Prix du MIDEM Classique in Cannes (1999, for The Shadows of Time), the Grand Prix de la Presse Musicale Internationale (1999, for his œuvre), the Ernst von Siemens Musikpreis (2005, for his œuvre), and the Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music in New York, New York (2012, for his œuvre). In addition, he received the title Grand-Croix de la Légion d'Honneur from the government of France (2003), was a member of the Académie royale des sciences, des lettres et des beaux-arts de Belgique in Brussels and was elected an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1981. He is the subject of the books Henri Dutilleux by René Jacobs (1974), Henri Dutilleux by Pierrette Mari (1974, Hachette Livre; second edition, 1988, Éditions Auguste Zurfluh), Henri Dutilleux, l'œuvre et le style musical by Daniel Humbert (1986, Éditions Slatkine), Ainsi Dutilleux... by Claude Desmarets and Jean-Marie Lhôte (1991, Éditions des Miroirs), Henri Dutilleux: his Life and Works by Caroline Potter (1997, Ashgate Publishing), Perception du temps musical chez Henri Dutilleux by Maxime Joos (1999, Éditions L'Harmattan), and Henri Dutilleux, ou la musique des songes by Jeremy Thurlow (2006, translated by Frédérique Aït-Touati, Millénaire III). Moreover, a collection of interviews with Claude Glayman was published as Henri Dutilleux, Mystère et mémoire des sons (1993, Éditions Belfond; second edition, 1997, Actes Sud).

He was also active in other positions. He served as choral director at the Opéra National de Paris in 1942–43, then worked for Radio France in Paris from 1943–63, where he served as director of music productions from 1945–63.

He taught composition at the École Normale de Musique de Paris from 1961–70 and composition as a guest professor at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris in 1970–71. He also lectured at the Tanglewood Music Festival in Massachusetts in 1995 and 1998.

He was married to the pianist Geneviève Joy until her death in 2009.

In addition to the works listed below, he composed a radio score in the 1940s and incidental music for four plays from the 1940s–50s, as well as several minor orchestral, chamber and vocal works and arrangements of music by Jehan Alain and Albert Roussel.

His primary publisher is Alphonse Leduc, but Éditions Durand-Salabert-Eschig is the publisher of some of his early music and Schott Music is the publisher of his late music.


E-mail address for consulting scores (Alphonse Leduc):

E-mail address for consulting scores (Éditions Durand-Salabert-Eschig):

E-mail address for consulting scores (Schott Music):



Le Loup (ballet, choreography by Roland Petit, scenario after Jean Anouilh, Georges Neveux), large orchestra, 1953


Symphonie No. 1, large orchestra (78 players), 1950–51

Symphonie No. 2, 'Le Double', ensemble (oboe, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, 2 violins, viola, cello, harpsichord, celesta, timpani), orchestra, 1955–59

Métaboles, large orchestra (90 players), 1959–64

Tout un monde lointain... (concerto), cello, large orchestra (74 players), 1967–70

Timbres, espace, mouvement ou la nuit étoilée, orchestra (16 winds, 11 brass, harp, celesta, timpani, 3 percussion, 12 cellos, 10 double basses), 1976–78, revised 1990

L'Arbre des songes (concerto), violin, large orchestra, 1979–85

Mystère de l'instant, cimbalom, percussion, 24/48 strings, 1985–89

Choral, Cadence et Fugato, trombone, symphonic band, 1995 (version by Claude Pichaureau of chamber work)

Sur le même accord, violin, orchestra, 2001, revised 2002


Sonatine, flute, piano, 1943

Sonate, oboe, piano, 1947

Choral, Cadence et Fugato, trombone, piano, 1950 (also version by Claude Pichaureau for trombone, symphonic band)

Ainsi la nuit, string quartet, 1973–76

Trois Strophes sur le nom de Sacher, cello, 1976, revised 1982

Les Citations (diptych), oboe, double bass, harpsichord, percussion, 1985, revised 1990–91

Slava's Fanfare, spatial ensemble (3 piccolos, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, 2 percussion), 1997


The Shadows of Time (text by the composer), 3 children's voices, large orchestra, 1995–97


Correspondances (song-cycle, texts from letters by Prithwindra Mukherjee, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Rainer Maria Rilke, Vincent van Gogh [all French translations]), soprano, large orchestra, 2002–03

Le Temps l'horloge (cinq épisodes, texts by Jean Tardieu, Robert Desnos, Charles Baudelaire), soprano, large orchestra, 2006–09


Au Gré des ondes, 1946 (also version by Kenneth Hesketh for large orchestra, 2015)

Sonate, 1946–48

Résonances, 1965

Figures de résonances, 2 pianos, 1970–76

Trois Préludes, 1973–88 (its three sections may be performed separately: D'Ombre et de silence, 1973; Sur un même accord, 1977; Le Jeu des contraires, 1988)