Méfano, Paul, French composer; b. Basra, Iraq, March 6, 1937. He began his training with Andrée Vaurabourg-Honegger, and then studied at the Paris Cons, with Milhaud and Dandelot. He also studied with Boulez, Stockhausen, and Pousseur before returning to the Paris Cons, to complete his training with Messiaen. After working in the U.S. on a Harkness Foundation grant (1966–68), he held a Berlin fellowship in 1968–69. In 1972 he co-founded the Ensemble 2e2m, a contemporary music ensemble in Paris. In 1980 he was named a Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite, in 1982 he was awarded the Grand Prix National de la Musique, in 1985 he was named a Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and in 1989 he won the Grand Prix of the SACEM.
dramatic:Micromégas, action musicale (Paris, July 3, 1979; rev. 1983–87; Karlsruhe, April 16, 1988). orch.: Danse bulgare for Strings (1959; rev. 1980); Variations libre for Strings (1959; rev. 1980); Incidences for Piano and Orch. (1960; Paris, May 19, 1967); Signe-oubli for 22 Players (Metz, Nov. 1972); A Bruno Maderna for Cello, Strings, and Tape (1980); Voyager (Metz, Nov. 17, 1989). chamber: Involutive for Clarinet (1958); Estampes japonaises for Flute and Piano (1959; also for Voice and Instruments); Captive for Flute (1962); Interférences for Piano, Horn, and 10 Players (1966); N for Flute and Electronics (1972); Ondes (espaces mouvants) for 10 Players (Metz, Nov. 20, 1975); Eventails for Amplified Flute (1976); Mouvement calme for String Quartet for String Ensemble (1976); Périple for Saxophonist(s) and Electronics (1978); Gradiva for Flute (1978); Traits suspendus for Flute (1980); Ensevelie for Flute (1986; Berlin, March 3, 1988); Tige for Saxophone (1986; Champigny, Jan. 14, 1989); Scintillante for Bassoon and Electronics (1990; Gennevilliers, Jan. 25, 1991); Asahi for Oboe and Electronics (1992); Matrice des vents for Sho and Electronics (1992); Mon ami Emile for Flute, Clarinet, Piano, and String Quartet (1995–96; also for Flute, Clarinet, Piano, Harmonium, and String Quartet, 1998); Cinq pièces for 2 Violins (1998); Hélios for Alto Flute and String Trio (1998); Alone for Violin (1999). piano:Evocations à l’usage des jeunes filles (1956); Croquis pour un adolescent (1957); Mémoire de la porte blanche (1991). vocal:Trois Chants crépusculaires for Soprano and Piano (1958); Estampes japonaises for Soprano and Instrumental Ensemble (1959; also for Soprano and Piano, and for Flute and Piano); Madrigal for 3 Women’s Voices or 2 Women’s Voices and Countertenor, and Small Instrumental Ensemble (1962); Mélodies for Soprano, Mezzo-soprano or Countertenor or Contralto, and Instrumental Ensemble (1962); Que l’oiseau se déchire for Voice, Clarinet, and Percussionist (1962); Paraboles for Soprano and Instrumental Ensemble (1965); Lignes for Bass and 15 Players (1965); La Cérémonie, oratorio for Soprano, Countertenor, Baritone, Chorus, and Orch. (1970); Old Oedip for Reciter, Tape, and Electronics (1970); La Messe des voleurs for Vocal Quartet, Chamber Ensemble, Electronics, and Tape (1972); L’Age de la vie for Soprano, Horn, and Harp (1972); They for Voice (1974); Placebo domino in regione vivorum for 6 Voices (1976); Scène 3 for Soprano and Small Orch., after Micromégas (1983; Metz, Oct. 6, 1984); Douce saveur for Bass, English Horn, and Tuba (1984); Dragonbass for Bass, 2 Saxophones, and Synthesizer (1993); Deux mélodies for Soprano, Mezzo-soprano, Saxophone, Clarinet, and Viola (1995); Trois chants 1958 for Soprano, 3 Saxophones, 3 Percussion, and 3 Cellos (1997).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire