The French composer Philippe Manoury is one of the seminal figures in the field of music with live electronics. He trained as a pianist and composer with the Schoenberg student Max Deutsch, with Gérard Condé, Michel Philippot and Ivo Malec, among others.
His compositional interest in mathematical models led him to IRCAM in Paris: he began working there in 1981 together with the mathematician Miller Puckette, developing a programming language for interactive live electronics. The results of this research led him to compose the cycle »Sonus ex machina« between 1987 and 1991, which is dedicated to the interaction between acoustic instruments and computer-generated sounds in real time.
The element of interaction is also the one that dominates his approach to larger orchestras: he turns them into sound laboratories experimenting with new possibilities of ensemble playing. This includes the spatial disposition of sounds within the concert hall; in his work »In SItu« (2013) the orchestra is placed in groups around the entire audience. Using this idea as a point of departure, Philippe Manoury developed a series of large-scale orchestral works in which space plays a central role.
Holding various educational and artistic positions, Philippe Manoury worked at the Ensemble Intercontemporain (1983 to 1987), the Conservatory in Lyon (1987 to 1997), the Orchestre de Paris (1995 to 2001), the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence (1998 to 2000) and the Scène nationale d’Orléans (2001 to 2003). He is a professor emeritus of the University of California San Diego, where he taught from 2004 to 2012. He also taught at the Académie Supérieure de la Haute École des Arts du Rhin and at the Collège de France.
Philippe Manoury has won numerous awards for his works. The French Ministry of Culture awarded him the rank of Officier des Arts et des Lettres in 2014. He is also a member of the honorary committee of the German-French Fund for Contemporary Music (Impuls Neue Musik). Since the summer of 2015 he has been a member of the Berlin Academy of Arts.