Pascal Contet

For over 20 years, Pascal Contet has been a leader for the creation of contemporary music, and a pioneer of the genre in France. With the creation of around 300 new works to his name, he has collaborated with many composers, including Luciano Berio, Bernard Cavanna, Joshua Fineberg (USA), Jean Françaix, Bruno Mantovani, and Martin Matalon.

Following his private study in France, Contet continued his musical studies in Fribourg (CH), the Hanover Academy of Music with Elisabeth Moser, the Copenhagen Royal Conservatory (DNK), and the Graz Academy of the Arts (AUT) with Mogens Ellegaard.

Contet is the laureate of multiple foundations and prizes including the Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet Vocational Foundation (awarded and bestowed by French President, François Mitterrand), the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation, the Gyorgy Cziffra Foundation, the Lavoisier Foundation, the Gus Viseur Prize, and the Samfundet Prize (awarded by the Danish government).

As a soloist, Contet has performed under the direction of many notable conductors including Pierre Boulez, François Xavier Roth, Pascal Rophé, Jean-François Heisser, Jean –François Verdier, James Wood, Susanna Mäkkli, Denis Comtet, Arie Van Beek, Laurent Petitgirard, and Daniel Tosi. He has performed and been the dedicatee of many concertos by a wide range of composers, including Bernard Cavanna, Benjamin Ellin, Jean Françaix, and Christophe Julien. He has appeared in performance with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Philharmonisches Orchester Freiburg (DEU), the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, the Orchestre de Bratislava, the Orchestre Les Siècles, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Orchestre National de Lille, the Orchestre National de Lorraine, the Orchestre Victor Hugo – Franche-Comté, the Orchestre d’Auvergne, the Orchestre de Perpignan-Méditerranée, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, the Orchestre de Picardie, the Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne, the Alma Chamber Orchestra, and the Orchestre de l’Opéra National de Paris where he premiered Mantovani’s opera, Ahkmatova.

Contet has collaborated with a wide variety of artists in diverse fields of expertise, from theater to electronic music, to create new and innovative music and mixed media productions. Contet also enjoys improvisation and jazz. His collaborative improvisation CD, “3,” with contrabassist, Joëlle Léandre, which débuted in March of 2014, received the “Choc” award from Jazz Magazine, the “Coup de Coeur” from the Académie Charles Cros, and was elected to be on the Citizen Jazz website in 2014. In June of 2015, under his personal label, PLEIN JEU, distributed by Socadisc, Contet released UTOPIAN WIND, a compilation of 13 “comprovisés” titles that combine improvisational and compositional techniques. In 2014, he performed a new trio at the Europa Jazz Festival with artists Scanner and Joel Cadbury in a mix of electro, rock, and contemporary music.

Contet works frequently on the connection between music and image, accompanying many cinema concerts and compositions for TV and cinema in this capacity, including the film Port-Au-Prince Dimanche 4 janvier by François Marthouret (screenplay by Marc Guilbert and Peter Kassovitz), based on the book Bicentenaire by Lyonel Trouillot.

An avid composer, Contet has also worked on many pieces for dance and theater including No Way Out (2004) for his duo with Jin Xing (performed and broadcast by the Shanghai Opera, France 2, TF1, Casino de Paris, and the Halle Tony Garnier in Lyon), Trio 03 for the Centre Chorégraphique National de Belfort (Odile Duboc) (2003), and La Madeleine Proust- Haut Débit de Lola Simonin, which has been in production since 2008.  His joint research with the artist Miguel Chevalier culminated in an interactive visual music performance, L’origine du Monde, which was premiered on September 19, 2013 at the Enghien Center for the Arts to critical and public acclaim.

Visit Contet’s website,, for a comprehensive look into the things that inspire and propel him toward new and revolutionary artistry.

Pascal Contet Self-portrait

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