“My life is a bit like that of a copyist monk” | EUROtoday

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

LThe Café de la nouvelle mairie is a type of Parisian locations that overseas vacationers significantly like. Since this little bar nestled behind the Pantheon (Paris 5e) appeared in Emily in Paris, followers of the collection flock there in numbers. Karol Beffa will meet us there. It’s not that he’s a fan of this collection: “It’s just that it’s next to my office,” confides this musicology trainer on the École Normale Supérieure (ENS) on rue d’Ulm. .

The tradition e-newsletter

Every Wednesday at 4 p.m.

Receive the cultural information of the week to not be missed in addition to Surveys, decryptions, portraits, traits…

Your registration has been taken under consideration with the e-mail handle:

To uncover all our different newsletters, go right here: MyAccount

By registering, you settle for the final situations of use and our confidentiality coverage.

Despite a busy schedule, the 50-year-old pianist and composer fortunately takes a mid-afternoon break to drink sizzling chocolate right here. “The days are a little long at the moment,” he admits.

Known for his music, and particularly for his improvisation concert events, Karol Beffa can be captivated with cinema. At the age of seven, he performed the function of younger Mozart in a biopic by Marcel Bluwal, launched in 1982. Two years later, he co-starred with Lino Ventura in The Seventh Target, directed by Claude Pinoteau.

He is now starring in Jean-Claude Monod's first function movie (One day woman…in theaters since May 8) which tells the story of an 18th century hermaphroditee century. Not content material with enjoying a small function alongside Marie Toscan, Thibault de Montalembert, François Berléand, Isild le Besco and André Marcon, he wrote the music. “A slightly baroque soundtrack,” he smiles.

An early vocation

Born right into a household of music-loving teachers (the place we honor the reminiscence of three musician uncles whom he by no means knew), he was enrolled, from a really younger age, on the School for Children of the Performing Arts, the well-known Rognoni school (Paris 5e). Which allowed him to carry out within the theater. He made two nationwide excursions earlier than his tenth birthday: one for Freedom in Bremenby Fassbinder, directed by Jean-Louis Hourdin, the place he performs the son of Hélène Vincent, the second for Grandfatherby Remo Forlani, directed by Michel Fagadau, the place he performs the grandson of Jean-Pierre Darras.

He can be scheduled, as a toddler, for the Fall Festival in The Good Soul of Se-Tchouan by Bertolt Brecht, underneath the route of Giorgio Strehler. Even although he performed younger Macduff greater than fifty instances in Macbeth from Shakespeare to the Comédie Française, then directed by Jean-Pierre Vincent, he by no means critically thought-about persevering with down this path.

This modest boy noticed his vocation as a musician blossom very early. “As soon as I started learning music, I knew it would play a central role in my life,” he says. As an adolescent, he performed the piano and the saxophone on the similar time and was naturally captivated with jazz, to which these devices predisposed him. He however pursued a classical course on the National Superior Conservatory of Music in Paris, the place he was accepted at… 14 years previous! Somewhat virtuoso, he received eight first prizes there.

Dozens of orders

Gifted for research, he joined the Henri-IV highschool on the similar time and hesitated, for a time, to embrace a profession as an economist, however music undoubtedly took over on the age of 20. The music aggregation rapidly allowed him to show, first on the Sorbonne then on the École Polytechnique, earlier than turning into, in 2014, a lecturer on the ENS. “This almost daily contact with the students is precious to me. It allows me to keep one foot in the world,” he says. The remainder of the time, Karol Beffa devotes it to writing music, secluded at house. “I have dozens of orders to fulfill. My life looks a bit, at the moment, like that of a copyist monk, leaning over his writing desk,” he smiles.

READ ALSO Meeting with Martin Parr: “The more serious the subject I deal with, the more I try to introduce humor into it” When melancholy – linked to isolation – rears its ugly head, he comforts himself by telling himself that he’ll quickly be capable to share his music with the general public. In May, he carried out in flip in Angers, Toulouse, Neuchâtel and Vevey, every time delivering a distinct efficiency. On the banks of the Loire, he improvised an unique soundtrack for FW Murnau's silent movie, Dawnas a part of the Pianopolis pageant.

Just a few days later, in Haute-Garonne, he created, with the Orchester nationwide du Capitole, the musical story Cabot-Caboche which he co-wrote with Daniel Pennac. In Switzerland, on the finish of May, he carried out one among his most well-known works, Talisman, a quintet for clarinet, violin, viola, cello and piano. Then given The king who didn't like music (libretto written by marketing consultant Mathieu Laine), a musical piece for youngsters which can tour extensively this summer time.

Never stingy together with his time, on the sidelines of those reveals, he takes the chance to provide conferences on his newest books in all these cities. In January, he revealed a biography of Bernard Herrmann (Actes Sud), the composer of music for excellent cinema classics, Citizen Kane from Orson Welles to Taxi Driver from Martin Scorsese to Cold sweat, Death in pursuit or Psychosis by Alfred Hitchcock.

READ ALSO Meeting with Helena Noguerra: “Kundera saved me from the attacks of heavy draggers” Definitely very productive, Karol Beffa has additionally devoted, with CNRS researcher Guillaume Métayer, a field set of three works to Camille Benoît (revealed by La Rumeur libre). He has nice admiration for this forgotten determine from the start of the twentieth century.e century who was on the similar time composer, organist and poet, translator from German, introducer of Wagner in France, but additionally famend critic earlier than ending his profession as curator of work on the Louvre, a museum to which he additionally bequeathed The Ship of Fools by Hieronymus Bosch.

HIS IDEAL SUNDAY: on Sunday, when the climate permits, he likes to stroll to the Jardin des Plantes or the Luxembourg Gardens. “It’s both calming and slightly exotic,” he says. Like Jean Giono, Karol Beffa likes to jot down whereas strolling, surrounded by greenery.

This polymorphous creator can be captivated with science. He has simply given a convention on the Collège de France with Professor Stanislas Dehaene, detailing the impact that listening to music has on the mind. The subsequent day, he supervised his work within the Saint-Louis des Invalides cathedral. Music for Four Musicians : a tribute to the nice American composer Steve Reich.

READ ALSO Meeting with Romain Puértolas: “I found the perfect job, I can live all lives! » His diary is overflowing with activities. The evening of White Night (the 1ster June), he was at the Guimet museum to present a new piece composed for a string trio. Titled This obscure claritythis work was followed by extracts from Free Play, small sonata for solo viola, composed after the collection of poems by Guillaume Métayer. The evening continued late into the night with the listening of his concerto Lamento, followed by wild improvisations linked to the work of Li Chevalier recently installed on site. And whose title particularly inspired him: Dreams of floating souls.

A busy summer

Will he manage to take a vacation this summer? Nothing is less sure. June and July promise to be very busy. Invited on June 23 to the Bienne festival where he will once again present his quintet Talismanhe will then reenact the musical theater piece The king who didn't like music at the Château de Méry-sur-Oise, then in Évian, on June 30, under the beautiful marquee of the Grange au lac. That day the continuation of this work will be created with a more jazzy score entitled The king who loved Josephine. Charles Berling, Renaud Capuçon, Edgar Moreau, Paul Meyer will be at his side for the occasion.

From Compiègne to Amiens via Chambéry, Obernai, Menet, Montignac, Saint-Martin-de-Pallières, Tournai and Les Sables-d'Olonne, his summer will be itinerant. “That’s the life of an acrobat!” » he laughs. The musician will nonetheless set down his suitcases for just a few days in Crete in mid-July. But relaxation is just not on the agenda… Invited to the Music and Mathematics pageant, he’ll focus on the various hyperlinks that unite the 2 disciplines within the firm of his ENS pal Cédric Villani. Karol Beffa will even give a live performance there.

“I’m still going to try to take advantage of it to swim a little,” he slips. In reality, will probably be again in full swing initially of the college 12 months. Particularly with two creations in September: that of Last Desert, piece for violin and piano provided to Fanny Clamagirand and Roustem Saïtkoulov. And an vital symphonic piece that the Orchester de Picardie will play: Melancholia. A diary that makes you dizzy…

Every Sunday, Point has Meeting with well-known and lesser-known personalities from the world of tradition, tv, cinema, gastronomy, sport, enterprise… They participate within the recreation of intimate interviews, telling us about their journey, typically strewn with pitfalls, give us some confidences and provides us their imaginative and prescient of society.