Paul Méfano

b. 1937



French composer Paul Méfano was born in Basra, Iraq on March 6th 1937. He studied at Paris Conservatory with Andrée Vaurabourg-Honegger, Darius Milhaud and Georges Dandelot and attended Olivier Messiaen’s class at the CNSMP. Messiaen was thoroughly impressed by Méfano making some very admiring comments about him. His music was performed publically for the first time in 1965 at the Domaine Musical. He moved to the USA in 1966 and then to Berlin in 1969 to work for the German Academy of Cultural Exchange (DAAD). In 1970 he moved back to France, devoting himself to a life of composition, conducting and musical life in general. From 1972, he began a career in teaching at a variety of conservatories which he carried out until 2005. 

His compositional style has evolved substantially over the course of his life, with his earlier, serial works, such as Incidences (1960) showing a clear influence of Boulez. His more recent works make an extensive use of microtones, such as Speed (2000). He has described his conception of music as ‘poetic’, reflecting his lifelong interest in poetry. In addition, he has a talent for writing very dramatic music, as shown in La cérémonie.