© C. Daguet-Editions Henry Lemoine
Michael Jarrell was born in Geneva on October 8, 1958 and studied composition in the class of Eric Gaudibert at the Geneva Conservatory before attending numerous workshops in the United States (Tanglewood, 1979). He completed his training at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg im Brisgau under Klaus Huber.
From 1986 to 1988, he was in residence at the Cité des Arts in Paris and he participated in Ircam’s computer music workshop. He resided at the Villa Médicis in Rome in 1988 / 89 and then enrolled at the Istituto Svizzero di Roma in 1989 / 90. Since 1982, his works have received numerous prizes: Prix Acanthes (1983), the City of Bonn’s Beethovenpreis (1986), Prix Marescotti (1986), Gaudeamus and Henriette Renié (1988), Siemens-Förderungspreis (1990).
He received the Music Prize from the City of Vienna in 2010 (Musikpreis der Stadt Wien) and in 2017, the Leenaards Foundation Prize. From October 1991 to June 1993, he was composer in residence at the Lyon Orchestra. In 1993, he was appointed professor of composition at the University of Vienna. In 1996, he became “composer in residence” at the Lucerne Festival. Soon thereafter, he was invited to the Musica Nova Festival in Helsinki—a Festival dedicated to him in March 2000. In 2001, the Salzburg Festival commissioned a concerto for piano and orchestra from him (Abschied). The same year, he was made a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.
In 2004, he became professor of composition at the Geneva Conservatory. On the occasion of Pierre Boulez’s 85th birthday in 2010, Michael Jarrell composd La Chambre aux échos for the Ensemble Intercontemporain, conducted by Susanna Mälkki. In 2012 his cello concerto Emergences (Nachlese VI), composed for Jean-Guihen Queyras, had its premiere in Salt Lake City and Lyon. That same year, his Nachlese Vb: Liederzyklus for soprano and ensemble premiered in Geneva and New York. In 2013, he composed Siegfried, nocturne for baritone and ensemble which had its world premiere in Geneva with Bo Skovhus. He has collaborated with numerous artists, including François Leleux, Isabel Faust, Ilya Gringolts, and Tabea Zimmermann. His latest work for ensemble, Un temps de silence, had its premiere in 2017 at the Berlin Philharmonie with Emmanuel Pahud (flute).
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