Jérôme Combier

Composer (1971, Boulogne Billancourt)

Jérôme Combier creates an essential and ephemeral art inspired by the natural elements and his personal sense of the Eastern culture.

Jérôme Combier started his musical education when he joined the Université de Saint-Denis in the musicology department. His dissertation at the end of his master was on the principle of variation seen in Anton Webern’s work and was directed by Antoine Bonnet. Guitar is his instrument of predilection but after he met Hacène Larbi and Emmanuel Nunes, he focused his career on writing, counterpoint, orchestration and composition. In 1997, he continued his training at the Paris Conservatoire in Michaël Lévinas’ class.

In 1995, he was a finalist at the Oslo Griegselskalpet competition. Three years later, he took part in the composition session of the Fondation Royaumont. That collaboration gave him the opportunity to live for two months in Akiyoshidai for a residency: this Japanese experience would transform his work and gave it a particular sound. 2001 and 2002 are dedicated to a curriculum in musical composition and IT at the IRCAM. After that, he got the support of the Paris Conservatoire for a project in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan from 2002 to 2004 where he developed his conducting and composing activities. Once again, the local music influenced Combier’s work and gave his music a new depth. 

In 2007, he met the painter Raphaël Thierry while staying at the Villa Medici. They incidentally ended up working together and wrote around the cycle Vies Silencieuses for the ensemble Cairn – Combier is its artistic director. He also worked with Pierre Nouvel for the setting up of the installation Noir Gris displayed at the Centre Georges Pompidou at the occasion of the Samuel Beckett exhibition.

Six landmark dates in the life of Jérôme Combier

1995: finalist at the Griegselskalpet competition
1997: was admitted in the composition class of Michaël Lévinas at the Paris Conservatoire
1997: founded the ensemble Cairn
2001: won the Prix de la Vocation from the Fondation Bleustein-Blanchet and the prize Pierre Cardin from the Académie des Beaux-Arts
2001-2002: curriculum in musical composition and IT at the IRCAM
2005-2006: stayed at the Villa Médicis

Six pieces by Jérôme Combier

1999: Ishi, for shakuhachi and piano
2002: Kogarashi, for guitar and electronics
2003: Pays de vent, les Hébrides, for big orchestra
2003: Esquisses à propos des nuages, for Kobyz, strings, two flutes and prepared piano
2007: Stèles d’air, for ensemble and electronics
2012: Terre et cendres, opera

Radio France musical documentation biography, December 2013