Betsy Jolas

b. 1926

French/American

Summary

Betsy Jolas, born in Paris in 1926, settled in the USA. in 1940, where she studied composition with Paul Boepple, piano with Helen Schnabel and organ with Carl Weinrich. After graduating from Bennington College, she returned to Paris in 1946 to continue her studies with Darius Milhaud, Simone Plé-Caussade and Olivier Messiaen at the Paris Conservatory. She has won many awards, including those of the Copley Foundation of Chicago, the American Academy of Arts and the Koussevitsky Foundation, becoming a member of the American Institute of Arts and Letters in 1983. Jolas was appointed to the faculty of the Paris Conservatory in 1975, and has also taught at several American universities including Yale, Berkeley, USC, San Diego and Mills College. Her works, written for a great variety of combinations, have been premiered notably by the Domaine Musical, at the festivals of Tanglewood and Royan and have been widely performed throughout the world by such artistes as Mady Mesplé, Claude Helfer, Elisabeth Chojnacka, Pierre-Yves Artaud, and by leading ensembles (Ensemble Intercontemporain, Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, London Sinfonietta, Boston Symphony Chamber Players, etc.). Her works have been recorded by EMI, Erato, CRI, Adès among others and have received various important awards.
Critical Acclaim
I’m simply thrilled to have discovered a wonderful composer that I didn’t know about. When you start talking to her she talks about when Varèse came to dinner, and when she sung the Verdi Requiem conducted by Toscanini, and it’s like a walking encyclopaedia, but the music is simply wonderful. I’m thrilled in the middle of Poulenc, Ravel and Rameau to introduce a really astonishing lady.— Sir Simon Rattle, lso.co.uk

News

Performances

26th September 2024

SOLOISTS
Håkan Hardenberger, trumpet
PERFORMERS
Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
CONDUCTOR
John Storgårds
LOCATION
Turku Concert Hall, Turku, Finland

5th December 2024

PERFORMERS
Minnesota Orchestra
CONDUCTOR
Jordan de Souza
LOCATION
Orchestra, Minneapolis, MN, United States of America

6th December 2024

PERFORMERS
Minnesota Orchestra
CONDUCTOR
Jordan de Souza
LOCATION
Orchestra, Minneapolis, MN, United States of America

22nd March 2025

PERFORMERS
Brooklyn Rider String Quartet
LOCATION
Konserthuset , Stockholm, Sweden

22nd May 2025

SOLOISTS
Fleur Barron
PERFORMERS
Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
CONDUCTOR
Daniel Harding
LOCATION
Berwaldhallen, Stockholm, Sweden

Features

  • Celebrating Women Composers
  • New works for soloist and orchestra
  • Recent Orchestral Highlights
  • Socially Distanced Onstage Works
    • Socially Distanced Onstage Works
    • With times of uncertainty ahead for the classical music community, we have compiled a selection of repertoire for small orchestra and chamber ensembles that allows for onstage social distancing.
  • A Collection of Chamber Operas

Photos

Discography