Ohana, Maurice

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Ohana, Maurice

Ohana, Maurice, French composer and pianist; b. Casablanca (of Spanish parents), June 12, 1914; d. Paris, Nov. 13, 1992. He studied piano with Frank Marshall in Barcelona and with Lazare Lévy at the Paris Cons., and also had lessons in counterpoint with Daniel-Lesur at the Schola Cantorum in Paris (1937–40). Following service in the British Army during World War II, he completed his training with Casella at Rome’s Accademia di Santa Cecilia (1944^6), then settled in Paris. In 1981 he was made a Commandeur des Arts et Lettres. He won the Prix National de Musique (1975) and the Honegger (1982) and Ravel (1985) prizes.


dramatic: opera:Syllabaire pour Phèdre (1967; Paris, Feb. 5, 1968); Autodafé (Lyons, May 23, 1972); Trois contes de l’Honorable Fleur (Avignon, luly 16, 1978); La Célestine (1982–86; Paris, June 13, 1988). radiophonie scores:Les Hommes et les autres (1955); Histoire véridique de Jacotin (1961); Hélène (1963); Les Héraclides (1964); Iphigénie en Tauride (1965); Hippolyte (1965–66). other: Film music. orch.:Trois graphiques, concerto for Guitar and Orch. (1950–57; BBC, London, Feb. 1961); Synaxis for 2 Pianos, 4 Percussionists, and Orch. (1965–66); Chiffres de clavecin for Harpsichord and Chamber Orch. (1967–68); Silenciaire for 6 Percussion and Strings (1969); T’harân-Ngô (Paris, Oct. 1974); Anneau du Tamarit for Cello and Orch. (1976); Livre des Prodiges (Lyons, Oct. 4, 1979); Crypt for Strings (1980); Piano Concerto (1980–81); Cello Concerto No. 2 (1988–89; Tokyo, May 13, 1991). chamber:Tiento for Guitar (1955); Quatre improvisations for Flute (1961); Cinq séquences for String Quartet (1963); Signes for Flute, 2 Guitars, Piano, and 4 Percussion (1965); Syrtes for Cello and Piano (1970); Sacral d’llx for Harpsichord, Oboe, and Horn (1975); Satyre for 2 Flutes (1976); String Quartet No. 2 (1980) and No. 3 (1990); Kypris for 4 Instruments (1985); piano pieces; harpsichord music. vocal:Llanto por Ignacio Sanchez Mejias for Baritone, Reciter, Women’s Voices, and Instrumental Ensemble (Paris, May 22, 1950); Cantigas for Soprano, Mezzo-soprano, Chorus, and Instrumental Ensemble (1953); Récit de Vano zéro, scenic oratorio (1958–59); Tombeau de Claude Debussy for Soprano, Guitar, Piano, and Chamber Orch. (1962; Paris, Ian. 8, 1964); Cris for 12 Voices (1968); Stream for Bass and String Trio (1970); Office des oracles for 3 Vocal Groups and Instruments (Ste. Baume, Aug. 9, 1974); Lys de Madrigaux for Women’s Chorus and Instrumental Ensemble (Paris, lune 1, 1976); Messe for Soprano, Mezzo-soprano, Chorus, and Instrumental Ensemble (Avignon, luly 30, 1977); Lux Noctis—Die Solis for 4 Choral Groups and 2 Organs (1981–88; Paris, Dec. 9, 1988); Swan Songs for 12 Voices (1988); Tombeau de Louise Labbé for 12 Voices (1988–90); Nuit de Pouchine for 12 Voices, Solo Man’s Voice, and Viola da Gamba or Cello (Leningrad, Nov. 16, 1990); Avoaha for Chorus, Percussion, and 2 Pianos (1991; Aix-les-Bains, Feb. 14, 1992).


N. Quist, M. O. (diss., Univ. of Heidelberg, 1973).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire