Boucourechliev, André

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Boucourechliev, André

Boucourechliev, André, Bulgarian-born French composer and writer on music; b. Sofia, July 28, 1925; d. Boulogne-Billancourt, Nov. 13, 1997. He enrolled at the Sofia Cons, in 1946 and studied piano with Pelischek. After winning first prize in the National Competition for Musical Interpretation in 1948, he was awarded a French government grant to pursue training at the École Normale de Musique in Paris with Gronoli (piano; licence de concert diploma, 1951) and with Dandelot (harmony). He also received private instruction in counterpoint from Vaurabourg-Honegger. In 1954 he attended the summer courses in new music in Darmstadt, and in 1955–56 he was a student in Gieseking’s master classes in piano in Saarbriicken. After teaching piano at the École Normale de Musique from 1952 to 1960, he devoted himself mainly to composing and writing. In 1956 he became a naturalized French citizen. In 1976 he won the Grand Prix musical of Paris and in 1984 the Grand Prix national de musique. Among his compositions, the series entitled Archipel is particularly noteworthy.


Étude I for Tape (1956); Musique à trois for Flute, Clarinet, and Harpsichord (1957); Texte I (1958) and 17 (1960) for Tape; Piano Sonata (1959); Tic-tac for Tape (1959); Signes for Flute, Piano, and 2 Percussion (1961); Grodek for Soprano, Flute, and 3 Percussion, after Georg Trakl (1963); Musique nocturnes for Clarinet, Harp, and Piano (1966); Archipel I for 2 Pianos and 2 Percussion ad libitum (1967), 77 for String Quartet (1968), 777 for Piano and 6 Percussion (1969), IV for Piano (1970), and V for 6 Instruments (1970–71); Ombres: Hommage à Beethoven for 11 Strings (Toulouse, June 8, 1970); Tombeau“à la mémoire de Jean-Pierre Guézec” for Clarinet and Percussion or Piano (1971); Anarchipel for Harp, Harpsichord, Organ, Piano, and 2 Percussion (1972); Faces for Orch. (1972); Amers for Orch. (1973); Threne for Reciter, Chorus, and Tape, after Mallarmé (1973–74); Piano Concerto (1974–75); Orion I for Organ (1979), 77 for Piano, Brass, and Percussion (1982), and 777 for Piano (1982); Ulysse for Flute and Percussion (1981); Nocturnes for Clarinet and Piano (1984); Lit de neige for Soprano and 19 Instruments (1984); Le Miroir for Mezzo-soprano and Orch. (1987); Chevelure de Bérénice for Instrumental Ensemble (1987); String Quartet No. 2 (1991).


Schumann (Paris, 1956; new éd., 1995; Eng. tr., 1959); Chopin: Eine Bildbiographie (Munich, 1962); Beethoven (Paris, 1963; 2nd éd., rev., 1976); Stravinski (Paris, 1982; Eng. tr., 1987); Essai sur Beethoven (Aries, 1991); Dire la musique (Paris, 1995); Debussy: La révolution subtile (Paris, 1998).


A. Girardot, Esthétique de B. à travers ses “Archipels” (diss., Univ. of Paris, 1974).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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