Born in 1982, Didier Rotella has studied piano and composition at the Conservatories of Lyon and Paris, at IRCAM, and at Ecole Normale Alfred Cortot with Frédéric Durieux, Edith Canat de Chizy, Anne Queffélec, Françoise Thinat, Hector Parrà, André Gorog...


His recent works testify to a research of the instrumental gesture as primacy to the organization of the musical discourse whether in the relation musician-electronics or in his acoustic pieces, while his profession of interpreter brings him from chamber music to solo repertoire through many creations, alone or in contemporary music ensembles. Holder of many awards, he has been an artist-in-residence at Villa Medicis (2015) and Casa de Vélazquez (2017-2018). As a composer, he has written for the Intercontemporain ensembles, Links, Divertimento, NeueVocal Solisten, the CNSM Laureates Orchestra, the Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain or the Ensemble Modern (Moscow), the Diotima quartet, Tana quartet, Ensemble Regards, Ensemble Proxima etc. As a pianist, he played in France and abroad and has performed with orchestra, including Prokofiev's 3rd Concerto or Rachmaninoff's 3rd Concerto.


As a composer but also interpreter, his aesthetic relies on the exploration of the instrumental or vocal gesture as the basis for producing the musical utterance, prioritising the notion of energy (consumed by the interpreter, received by the audience) whether in the management of sound densities, virtuosity, or purification down to the single vibration. Furthermore, his language transposes the traditional timbric tension-relaxation, ranging from the noisiest performance modes to the smoothest frequencies, in a delivery that often emerges with reduced intensity. Indeed, his universe was built on musical scales patiently developed over time and my encounters, integrating micro-intervals in an extremely natural manner. This research has been recognised with several distinctions, especially in the field of ensemble music. By way of example, his work “Polychromies 1” won the 1st prize at the 2011 Jurgenson Competition in the "Ensemble" category. This work was also awarded at the 2016 Franco Donatoni competition, alongside his "Fragrances" string quartet (2nd prize in the 2016 Sorodha competition). 


In his pieces with electronics, such work may appear like a "degradation" of instrumental performance as in "Strophe 1" for piano and electronics (Chevillond-Bonneau Prize of the 2014 Orleans Piano Competition, Didier Rotella on piano), "Strophe 3" for flute and electronics (2016) or, more recently, "Catharsis" for 2 pianos and 2 percussion instruments, commissioned by IRCAM and the Pompidou Centre for the Manifeste 2018 festival. This particular work also explores the "concrete" deformation of physical instruments by means of sensors and vibrators arranged on the piano soundboard, and on the membranes of the percussion instruments, becoming thus hybrid ones. 


These notions have also pervaded his vocal works, where his highly discursive language allows rendering the literary argument in an original and relevant way. This is indeed the case of the opera "Maudits les Innocents", of which he composed the Act III "Le monde est devenu sombre"on a libretto by Laurent Gaudé, premiered in 2014 at Opéra Bastille (co-production of the Atelier Lyrique, the Master of hauts-de-seine, and CNSM of Paris), but also of his second opera project "La Dame Rouge", on an original libretto by Brigitte Athea, currently being written, the instrumental prologue of which (with text told by the musicians) was performed in 2018 in Rome, Paris, Madrid and Marseille by the Orchestral Contemporain Ensemble, under the direction of Daniel Kawka. These vocal productions are often recognised, such as his piece "Instants Mêlés" for soprano and ensemble, on texts by Brigitte Athéa, which received the Salabert foundation prize in 2014. More recently, the commission received by the Divertimento de Milan Ensemble and the Neue VocalSolisten to compose "D'un Soleil Arachnide" (2017) on texts by Mohammed Kaïr-Eddine, published by Impronta Verlag. 


At present, this implication of instrumentalist's gesture in connection with writing is exemplified by his current partnership with Regards Ensemble, where he serve in a dual capacity as both pianist and composer.



2015 - 2016. IRCAM, Cursus program on Composition and Computer Music.

2013 - 2015. Ecole Normale Alfred Cortot, post-graduate in Piano with Anne Queffelec and Françoise Thinat.

2009 - 2014. Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris (CNSMDP), Master's degree in Composition (with Frédéric Durieux).

2009. Certificat d'Aptitude (C.A.), Piano.

2007 - 2009. Conservatoire de Paris (CRR), DEM : Composition (with Edith Canat de Chizy), Orchestration (with Alain Louvier), Musical History (with Corinne Schneider).

2007 - 2008. Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Lyon (CNSM), Ecriture (with Loic Maillé et Gérard Geay).

2002 - 2008. Ecole Normale Alfred Cortot, graduate in Piano and Musique de chambre (with André Gorog).

2004 - 2006. Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris (CNSMDP), Prix d'Analyse (with Alain Louvier).

2002 - 2006. Conservatoire de Boulogne-Billancourt (CRR), DEM : Ecriture & Composition (with Pierre Grouvel)



2016. Franco Donatoni Composition Prize, Divertimento Ensemble, Milano (I).

2016. Sorodha Composition Competition for string quartet, second Prize, Anvers (B).

2016. SACEM fellowship, Paris (F).

2014. Salabert Foundation Award, Paris (F).

2014. Composition Prize André Chevillion - Yvonne Bonnaud, International piano competition, Orléans (F).

2013. London Ear, special mention, London (E).

2013. Meyer Foundation, fellowship, Paris (F).

2013. Fondation Marthe Depelsenaire - Fondation de France, laureate.

2011. International Jurgenson Competition for Young Composers, First Prize, Moscow (R).



2017 - 2018. Casa de Velázquez (artist member), Académie de France à Madrid (S).

2015. Villa Médicis (laureate), Académie de France à Rome (I).

2015. Studio Eole, Toulouse (F).

2009 & 2010. Château de Lourmarin, Académie des Beaux-Arts (F).


Complete biography:  Download PDF  Download Word