Jean-Michel Defaye was born in Saint-Mandé, just outside Paris, on 18 September 1932. Ten years later he entered the Paris Conservatoire and completed his entire musical training there, from theory and piano right through to composition, taking in also Nadia Boulanger’s accompanying class. In 1952 he won the Premier Second Grand Prix de Rome, and a year later the second prize in composition for the Belgian Queen Elisabeth competition. His work is mainly oriented towards instrumental music, particularly for brass. Among his compositions are Hallucinations for large orchestra, several concertos for trumpet, trombone, saxophone and orchestra, brass quartets and octets, Études stereo for 12 horns, and several series of teaching pieces for flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone and tuba.