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Pianist and improviser, Karol Beffa (Paris, 1973) is a french composer whose works have been performed by the leading orchestras (Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre National de l’Opéra de Lyon, Saint Petersburg Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra…) and well-known ensembles as A Sei Voci, Maîtrise de Radio France, Cambridge Voices.
He has composed two incidental scores as well as the music for 20 films.
Karol Beffa is a a senior lecturer at the Ecole Normale Supérieure.
His publications include Comment parler de musique ? (Fayard, 2013), György Ligeti (Fayard, 2016), Parler, Composer, Jouer. Sept leçons sur la musique (Seuil, 2017) and, with Cédric Villani, Les Coulisses de la création (Flammarion, 2015).
In 2000, the Turin International Biennale of Young Artists (BIG Torino 2000) selected him to represent France, and in 2002, he was the youngest French composer programmed at the Présences festival.
In 2013, he won a Victoires de la musique award in the Best Composer category.
Karol Beffa had a general education along with music studies after having been a child actor between the ages of seven and 12, appearing in more than 15 films. Top of his class at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, he read history (Bachelor’s degree), English (Master’s), philosophy (Master’s at Cambridge University) and mathematics, graduating from ENSAE (Graduate School of Economics, Statistics and Finance). Enrolling at the Paris Conservatoire in 1988, he obtained eight premiers prix. Coming first in the Agrégation d’éducation musicale, a highly competitive examination for teachers, he taught at the Sorbonne (1998-2003) then at the Ecole Polytechnique (2003-08). In 2003, he earned his doctorate in musicology with a thesis on György Ligeti’s Piano Etudes.