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Raphael Cendo, European composer and master wanderer

From Paris to Rome, from Berlin to Saint-Petersburg, and to the Aix-en-Provence Festival of Lyrical Art, the itinerary of a composer invested in training through academies.

By Pierre Gervasoni Posted today at 18h00

Time to Reading 5 min.

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French composer Raphael Cendo.
French composer Raphael Cendo. Jean Radel

Near the Igor-Stravinsky fountain, oasis of freshness in Paris (4e arrondissement) in this hot June afternoon, a young woman crumpled under a heavy backpack seems disoriented. In front of her, the Saint-Merri church, behind her, the Center Georges-Pompidou, and on her right the footbridge that leads to the Institute for research and acoustic coordination / music (Ircam), where is held a composition academy as part of the ManiFeste festival.

This is where we find Raphaël Cendo. Coming from Berlin, where he has lived since 2011, the French composer born in 1975 made a stop in Paris before joining Aix-en-Provence where his string quartet In Vivo will be played on July 12 by the Tana Quartet. Always on the move, for a concert of his works or for a teaching session, he has Europe pegged to the body. Like the young people he is in charge of for a week at Ircam, as part of a master class of electronic music. Ten trainees including two Italians, a Portuguese, a Greek and a Turkish but no French.

Academies have become essential in the training of today's creator. They mark very often a tour of Europe that the composer himself began ten years ago when he left the Paris Conservatoire.

"I know almost half of the group, says Raphaël Cendo, for having already met them in other academies. " Sessions of composition lasting a few weeks that allow young people from all walks of life to submit to seniors considered as masters, if not as models, their work and refine them through them, academies have become essential in the training of today's creator. They mark very often a tour of Europe that the composer himself began ten years ago when he left the Paris Conservatoire.

He could have resided at the Casa de Velasquez in Madrid, his candidacy having been accepted, but he preferred to go to the Villa Medici in Rome, where he was boarder of the Academy of France from 2009 to 2011. "Originally, there is an instinctive call to these cities," says Raphaël Cendo who, at the Conservatoire, was trying to produce unusual sounds, for example using brass with oboe reeds, without really understanding why. " Later, He continues, I remembered the trajectory of my family, and it all cleared up. " A Serbian great-grandfather who emigrated to Egypt where he participated in the construction of the Suez Canal. A grandfather, born in the country of the pharaohs, who won France before becoming a great resistance during the Second World War …

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