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Interview with the Composer Rodolphe Bruneau-Boulmier

Tuesday, 25 February 2014 , ora 8.45
Between 14th and 25th February 2014, took place the 16th edition of the Presences Festival, an edition dedicated to contemporary music in Paris and Berlin.

The performances were organized at the Radio France. The composer and producer Rodophe Bruneau -Boulmier offered us some details about this festival.

Mr. Rodolphe Bruneau -Boulmier, you have been involved for several days in the Presence Festival 2014 - organized by Radio France - both as a composer and as a producer. Would you please share with us some details about this 24
th edition?

This year, the Presence Festival creates a relationship between Paris and Berlin, between the German and the French composers. The idea of this festival is to emphasize and to reveal these two important stages of the contemporary music. On the one hand, even to this end of week, we have discovered many German composers and we have also found out that many French composers, such as Raphael Cendo or Fabien Levy, live in Germany; they have moved to Berlin, which is considered the Mecca of the contemporary music.

Who are the performers in this festival?

There are many important composers. For example, on Friday evening we listened to the Concerto for Two Pianos, by Philippe Manoury, who is one of the greatest French creators of our times; he was accompanied by Wolfgang Rihm, from Germany. They are both part of the same generation, having a wide score for orchestra. In the second part of the concert, we listened to the Vocal and Instrumental Suite, The Soldiers, by Bernd Alois Zimmermann.

Another idea of the festival is to perform works by the greatest contemporary composers, with past references. For example, be listened to works by Hans Werner Henze, an important German composer. I find the new generation in music to be very interesting. I discovered works by Fabien Levy or Oliver Schneller- a German composer, unknown in France- Enno Poppe, who is 40, also from Germany and unknown here. We listened to opuses by the French composer Mark Andre who lives in Germany. The programme is very wide; there are many concerts every end of week. On Sunday, we participated at four concerts: electronic music, symphonic and choral music and music performed by the Radio France Choir- in fact, a way of presenting the new music in various aspects.

Apart from the symphonic, choral or chamber ensembles of Radio France, what other performers will be in this festival?

It is interesting that, through this festival, we discover performers and ensembles from Germany, such as Neue Vocalsolisten from Stuttgart and the piano duo Grau Schumacher. There are also the also the French ensembles, such as Mosaik, conducted by Guillaume Bourgogne. Mosaik is an ensemble specialized in the new music and it is coordinated by the composer Jerome Combier. There are other German ensembles as well, such as, the Modern Ensemble and Resonaz, that performed in very good concerts.

Mr. Rodolphe Bruneau -Boulmier, does the public participate in these events?

The French public appreciates this type of events. You must know that this year’s edition is brought to Paris for the first time and all the events will be performed at Maison de Radio France. Maison de Radio France has been under reconstruction in the last years and the Presences Festival was organized in other places. This is the first time it takes place in Paris and this way the public retrieves the festival. Right from the beginning, on 13th February, the halls were overcrowded; the public was familiar with the music and reacted to it. For example, at the end of the performance of Raphael Cendo᾽s work, some music lovers whistled in order to show their disapproval. This proves that the public is interested in contemporary music and reacts to it. Raphael Cendo᾽s music is an over-saturated music, uses full sonorities, almost noises. Many people felt disturbed by these experimental sounds and by this manner of performing the music.

Mr. Rodolphe Bruneau -Boulmier, thank you for this stopover in the universe of the 2014 Presence Festival.

Irina Hasnaș
Translated by Aida Birghilă and Elena Daniel Radu
MTTLC , University of Bucharest