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Alexandra Grimal

Composer, saxophonist and singer

In residency as a composer at the Scène Nationale d’Orléans from 2015 to 2017 (DGCA-SACEM), in 2016 she created the kankū trio (with Éric Echampard and Sylvain Daniel) and in 2017 the concert version of her clandestine opera la vapeur au-dessus du riz. She performs internationally in festivals such as Musica, Donaueschingen, the Philharmonies of Paris, Krakow, Parco della Musica, Opéra de Dijon… She was trained in jazz saxophone at the Sibelius Academy, at the CNSM in Paris, at the Conservatoire Royal de La Haye, studied with John Ruocco, Steve Coleman… She studied singing with Donatienne Michel Dansac and Martina Catella.

Noticed in 2007 at the International Competition of Young Soloists in Friborg, she has since received numerous soloist prizes and two MacDowell Fellowships and a Tavitian Fellowship as a composer. She released her first record, Shape, in 2009, with Antonin Rayon and Emmanuel Scarpa. After her second album Seminare Vento, she moved to New York for two years, and returned with an album Owls Talk, with a prestigious cast: Lee Konitz, Gary Peacock and Paul Motian. Alexandra Grimal also directs the Nāga ensemble (state commission – Marc Ducret, Nelson Veras, Benoît Delbecq, Stéphane Galland, Jozef Dumoulin and Lynn Cassiers) whose double-album was released in 2019. All of her records have won awards, in particular Andromeda, with his American quartet (Todd Neufeld, Thomas Morgan and Tyshawn Sorey), released in 2012.

She was a soloist with the National Jazz Orchestra, in the tentet of Joëlle Léandre Can You Hear Me? and continues to collaborate with artists from other art forms. She has appeared as a singer in the Dedalus ensemble, notably in the play Death Speaks by David Lang. She is currently creating a choreographic piece shānta for five dancers, commissioned by Césaré – Centre National de Création de Reims, co-production of the Scène Nationale d’Orléans and GMEA – Centre National de Création Albi-Tarn. Artist in residence at the Enghien-Les-Bains Digital Arts Center in 2020-21, she has just created a vegetalized sound and visual installation, the monkey in the abstract garden, for voice, electronic music, landscape and video. Composer in residence at the Château de Chambord in 2020, she recorded a new saxophone solo there. Her piece humus for symphony orchestra, commissioned by the Philharmonie de Paris and the Paris Mozart Orchestra for the first edition of La Maestra Competition, was premiered at the Philharmonie de Paris in 2020.

She is currently working on a melologue based on L’Homme qui plantait des arbres by Jean Giono, a piece for narrator and ensemble of ten musicians, new commission from PMO, in collaboration with the painter Alexandre Hollan. She will play the music of Lady Aoi de Mishima, directed by Raphaël Trano de Angelis for a creation at the Guimet museum in 2022.

Alexandra Grimal has just been appointed professor of composition and ensemble at the University of the Arts in Bern in Switzerland.

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