Nicolas Vérin                     

47 rue Michelet

93170 Bagnolet, France

Ph. +33(0)1 48 97 39 47

Email :

Nationality : French

Birth : 06-21-1958, St-Omer, France



1980-86 :      University of California, San Diego

                     PhD (1986) and Master of Arts (1982) in composition and computer music.

1977-80 :      University of Paris VIII-Vincennes

                     B.A. in Music Education

1977-79 :      Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris

                     degree in Electroacoustic Composition and Musical Research

1975-77 :      University of Paris VI-Jussieu and University of Brest

                     studies in Science, Music and Science, AcousticsŠ

1974-79 :      Conservatoire National de Région de Saint-Maur

                     Diplôme de fin d¹études in piano, studies in chamber music, harmonyŠ

TEACHING EXPERIENCE                                                                                                                      

2000-present : Ecole Nationale de Musique et de Danse d¹Evry (Essonne)

                     Professor of Composition and Electroacoustic music (tenured since 1998)

1991-00 :      Conservatoire National de Région de Chalon sur Sâone (Burgundy)

                     Professor of Electroacoustic music

1989-92 :      IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique)

Tutor and professor for several courses at including the Doctorate Program of EHESS (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales), and the Cursus of computer music

1986-87 :        FR3 – French National Television  Teacher in the Professional Training division, courses on theory and practice of sound, use of new Video Cameras, on the relationship between sound and image

1986 :           UC San Diego  Associate lecturer in music theory

1985 :           U. Paris VIII  Chargé de cours" (associate) for a course on the relationships between sound and image

1982-84 :      UC San Diego  Associate in electronic music, in charge of all the courses in this subject

1981-82 :      UC San Diego  Teaching assistant in Ear-training and Music History

OTHER PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE                                                                                           

1991-00 :      Conservatoire National de Région de Chalon sur Sâone (Burgundy)

Director of the studios (invitation of composers for master-classes, member of the programming committee for concerts , choice of equipment, design of studio layout, etc.)

1993-95:       Festival Auch Danse/Musique Contemporaines (Gascony)

Musical director for two editions, involving the programming of 8 concerts, some in relation to dance companies

1989-91:       IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique)

Tutor : coordination of the productions of invited composers: orientation through the maze of IRCAM's equipment and software, choice of set-up and procedures, realization of the technical part up to the performance, in constant dialog with the composers and interface with the other IRCAM staff

1987-88:       CIAMI (Centre d¹Informatique Appliquée à la Musique et l¹Image), Rueil-Malmaison   Director of the MIDI studio and of CARL software environment (Computer Audio Research Lab, set of programs developed in San Diego)

1986:            UC San Diego

Coordinator for Vinko Globokar¹s Laboratorium, a 4 hour work, with 60 participants (this led to be perform the electronics in that piece at Witten Festival (Germany, 1988) and WDR (Köln , 2001)

1985-87:       Studio Son/Ré, Paris

Collaboration as musical assistant with Pierre Henry: studio work and concert performances.

1978-80:       FR3 Television, Nantes, Rouen, Caen, Strasbourg, Nancy, Reims, Orléans, Dijon, Limoges, Bastia        sound operator for regional news (sound recording, editing, mixing) for short term replacements (from 3 days to one month – total of approx. 6 months)

ASSOCIATIONS – CONCERT ORGANIZATION                                                                               

President of Ars Sonora, the association that federates the great majority of electroacoustic studios in France. Member of the following societies : SACEM, SACD, SNAC (Syndicat National des Auteurs et des Compositeurs), AECME, (Association of Professors of Electroacoustic Music).

Early on, Nicolas Vérin has initiated concerts : first concert ever of electroacoustic music in Brest (1977), Concert sur l'herbe (San Diego, 1982), the American première of Pierre Henry¹s masterpiece l'Apocalypse de Jean, (San Diego, 1983) as well as many others, including a very successful recital of French songs (complete with translations) with singer Georges Bloch (given five times).

Back in France, he puts together with Georges Bloch in 1987 a Franco-American series, of which only two concerts took place, due to the closing of the American Center.

He founds in 1989 the Association Ligys, whose aim is the creation and diffusion of contemporary music in all its forms. Since its closure, he founded in 2004 a new one, called Impulsion.

Organizes three tours in California with flutist extraordianire Cécile Daroux, the last one also with renowned jazz clarinetist Louis Sclavis (10 performances in 1999, 2000 and 2001).

SELECTED ACCOMPLISHMENTS                                                                                                         

Prizes :           Competition Hörspiel 2, organized by the studio La Muse en Circuit and Radio-France (1994) ; CEDS (New London, Connecticut, 1991) ; Villa Medicis Hors les Murs (French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2001) ; selections in many competitions including Bourges (four times), Olympia (Greece, 1989), Leonie D. Rotshild (USA), etc.

Commissions :  French Ministry of Culture (1992, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2003), INA-GRM (1989, 1993, 2004), Radio-France (1991, 1996, 2004), Festivals (Dijon in 1996 and 2001, Perpignan 1995, Nancy 1999), etc.

Composer in residence in the Midi-Pyrénées region (1992-1994)

Performances : San Francisco (SF Contemporary Music Players, 1998), Why Note Festival (Dijon,; 1996, 97 and 2001), Pacific Ring Festival, San Diego (1986), Composers Concordance (Cami Hall, New York, 1989), featured composer in the Pulse Field project, 2003, Atlanta, GA (, Radio-France, Paris (1990, 93, 94, 96, 99, 03, 05), Centre Pompidou, Paris (1990, 1992), Moscow Autumn Festival (96, 98, 01, 04), Mexico Computadora y Musica Festival (1992), Rome, Madrid, Tokyo, Budapest, Finland, Montréal, etc.

Compositions : his catalog comprises over 50 works, with genres ranging from solo instrument to symphonic orchestra, and comprising pieces for electronics (tape or live), stage music for theatre, dance. Complete list available here : listepieces2.html. Several of his pieces are published by Editions Jobert (Paris) and Editions du Visage (Bondy)

Recordings : 4 works of Nicolas Vérin, on the INA-GRM label, to be released next Fall ; Chassés-croisés, 6 instrumental pieces by Nicolas Vérin (Impulsion – NVCD01, 2003) ; 4 electronic works by Nicolas Vérin, AuCourant Records (Atlanta, GA), to be released in 2005; with other composers on several other Cds, including the US label NEUMA

Broadcasts : France-Musique (over 20 times), France Culture (several times, including a 30¹ program focused on my work), other radios in Germany, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Russia and USA (KPFK-Los Angeles and KPFA Berkeley)

Scholarships : -Lavoisier Grant and invitation at the Center for New Music and Audio Technology of UC Berkeley (1992) ; Resident at Cité des Arts, Paris, selected by the American Center (1984-86) ; Various grants and scholarships from UC San Diego (Tuition Scholarship, Fee Scholarship, Fellowship, Travel Grants, Chancellor Grant, etc., from 1982 to 1986) ; Scholarship from the Ministère des Affaires Etrangères (USA : 1980-81 and 1981-82)

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS                                                                                                                  

Approaching contemporary music Pulse Field, Georgia State University, Atlanta, January 2003.

Compte-rendu du Festival Elektrokomplex de Vienne. Ars Sonora Revue N°8, Paris, January 1999.

L'établissement de structures relationnelles pour l'analyse de la musique postschaefferienne translation from the English article by Denis Smalley. INA/Buchet-Chastel, Paris 1999.

Quelles notes de programme pour la musique d'aujourd'hui ? Média et Information, Paris, L'Harmattan, October 1998.

Interview de Steve Reich. Ars Sonora Revue N°7, Paris, March 1998

Congruences  et l'électronique. Les cahiers de l'Ircam N°1, Paris,1992.

Roger Reynolds. biography and description of his work. Dictionary of XXth Century Musicians, St-James Press, Oxford, 1992.

Analyse de "Archipelago" de Roger Reynolds  Inharmoniques n°8, Paris, 1991.

Electro-acoustic music - a perspective on its variable and unpre­dic­table as­pects. Studia Musicologica, Hungarian National Institute of Musicology, Budapest, 1991.

Pierre Henry : hommage à Maurice Fleuret. Four radio broadcasts (50 minutes each) in the series Acousmathèque by INA-GRM, France-Musique, March 1990.

Spatialisation : interprétation, composition, improvisation ?  LIEN, special issue "L'espace du son", Musique et recherches, Ohain, Belgique, 1989, reprinted in December 1998.

MASTER-CLASSES, SEMINARS, CONFERENCES                                                                              

Invitation by the University and the Conservatory of Strasburg, for a Master-Class and a conference, together with a concert "Carte Blanche à Nicolas Vérin" (1996)

Master-classes at CalArts (1998), UC Santa Barbara (2000), Tbilissi Conservatory (Republic of Georgia, 2001), Moscow Conservatory (2004), St-Petersburg Pro Arte Foundation (2004)

Seminars in UC San Diego (Focus seminar, 1998, for PhD students and attended by all distinguished faculty members), in Madrid (International  Days of Electronic Music, 2005)

Conferences in UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, Auch, Chalon sur Saone, Festival Musicalta, Evry, etc.

Participation in Round table discussions in Dijon (with George Crumb, 1996, with Steve Reich, 1998), in Paris (CDMC 1997, Rencontres Paysaginaires 1998),

PRESS HIGHLIGHTS                                                                                                                              


ŠLast fall, Sclavis made a rare stateside appearance in an improvisational trio setting at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Joining him were renowned flutist Cecile Daroux and Nicolas Vérin on electronics. Improvisation was the operative modeŠ Swing was not evident to any detectable degree. Instead, the art was in the sonic experimentation .and a probing sense of phrase-sculpting, both very precise and free of structural plan.

Down Beat ,  May, 2002  by Josef Woodard


"A great performance.  ŠThe Association for electroacoustic creation and research of Québec presented a monument of the French acousmatic repertory [l¹Apocalypse de Jean by Pierre Henry] performed by Nicolas Vérin. Remember this name.Š The very great success of this audition was Nicolas Vérin¹s spatialization of the work. His use of space, his creation of axis and perspectives were properly prodigious ! Musically and artistically, despite some weaknesses in the piece, the performance was astounding on a very high quality orchestra of loudspeakers."   Le Devoir, Montréal, November 6th, 1999.


"Saturday night at the Trois-Epis, Nicolas Vérin, after a very interesting conference about electroacoustic music, put the theory in practice. As listener engaged in such an adventure, many great interrogations come to your mind. Fortunately, after listening, answers were not altogether missing. This may be the merit of such "technique"... At the end of the night, the audience understood that they had just lived two hours of strong intensity, floating in a world not so unreal, from one could draw energy, dream or even a fragment of poetry."        L'Alsace, 26-7-99.


"The San Francisco Contemporary Music Players in collaboration with the Center for New Music and Audio Technology presented music by Kaija Saariaho, Nicolas Vérin, Laetitia Sonami, Edmund Campion and Jonathan Harvey, conducted by Ms. Linda Bouchard. ...Nicolas Vérin's Instabile, for 9 players and electronics, was perhaps the most exquisite work of the evening. His music exhibits all of the subtlety of a genre unconcerned with the note, seeking to integrate instruments and electronics into a single, natural sound world. His work created a single veil that seemed to lift away from the instruments and speakers alike. Multiphonic-based sections of the work as elegantly fused as Scelsi at his best are intercut with angular sections that highlight harmonies related to the multiphonicsŠ The most complex work technologically, its cohesion owes to the careful correlation among timbre and other parameters. Mr. Vérin draws the unstable, vacillating quality of the multiphonics into all aspects of the piece itself. The resulting sound world never fissions into discrete roles."            Eric Marty, Computer Music Journal, Palo Alto, CA, Spring 1998


"Only in a couple of cases Monday, you could forget about the "how" and concentrate on the "what". Two pieces afforded more satisfaction. Instabile, for nine instruments puts the player through all sorts of trials, from multiphonics to unpredictable rhythms, and evokes a hazy, dreamy atmosphere. Vérin integrates his technology in quest of a larger statementŠAnd the ear detects a rising arc and a gradual subsiding."             

Allan Ulrich. San Francisco Examiner, February 11, 1998.


"Chassé Croisé II  for violin and piano is part of a cycle of duets dedicated to the performers who instigated the piece. By choosing a première, the organizers of Musicalta showed their taste for the living, followed by a frankly enthusiastic au­dience, largely composed of adolescents. Perfect dialog and astonishing vitality, the multiple aspects of this chassé-croisé were well highlighted, as these slightly disquieting recurring harmonies or these implacable rhythmic, which were not without recalling certain pieces of Prokofiev."     

Mathias Heizmann. Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace.  July 1997.


"To the repertoire of interesting pieces for instrument and tape, one has to add Mariposa clavada que medita su vuelo by Nicolas Vérin. One can find an all classical ease, a tone that is not at all laborious and a love marriage between Cécile Daroux's flute and the tape in which the instrument is mirrored in an apparently harmonious relationship, made of complex polyphonies, seductive and elusive. This being said, I wonder if the major interest of the piece would not lie primarily in the flute part, to which Vérin gives an incantatory character like one finds in Debussy or Jolivet..."

 Jacques Bonnaure, La Lettre du musicien. n° 175, Paris, March 1996.


"Nicolas Vérin used sound icons, for him an essential part of this 'temps perdu' (lost time) ; he attempts to transmute his intimate experience in a communicational fact to make it objective, common to all and near the listeners. 11, avenue du Midi is even more striking when one listens to it at home, because in interferes with the sounds of one's own house, a very rich and paradoxical interference". 

José Igès, broadcast "Le rythme et la raison", France-Culture, January, 25h, 1996


"In the second part, the event was of course the première of Circuitio by Nicolas Vérin. A very elaborate experimental works that makes use of the QuatronŠA steep path, to the well-spring of music and life".        

Pierre-Jean Pyrda. La Dépêche du Midi, 3 October 1993.


"The music of Mauzac, light, earthly without excess, with a slight taste of stony river... the Lenc de l'elh proposes a point of harshness softened up by distant little bells. A somewhat exotic sound, low and dry, and an electronic bird complete the tableau. It is as one of these memories that evades one as you capture it, auditive and gustative notations, too brief and yet that leave an indefinable impression... The Syrah is a music/wine that is anchored, strong, which attacks with an acidity that disappears right away. Far away sounds or words, whis­pered, liquid, deep, it is rough and real like jute linen. The Duras  is a wine whose sound has traveled much,  garnered many a scent of herbs, of liquorices roots heated by the sun, of dews and autumn haze. It is a tale narra­ted as if by the fireside. Finally, the Braucol is an elabo­rated music, reflective, with electronic bamboo brea­things, a wine of today, with vocal sounds, where each instant makes one bite handfuls of bitter and fragrant berries, and makes one travel."     about In vino musica , Michel Thion, Révolution n°673, Jan. 21, 1993.


"...Miroirs déformants by Nicolas Vérin, marrying a solo oboe and a magnetic tape, quite beautiful and drama­tic, shows a certain sonic imagination."       Jacques Longchampt, Le Monde , 3 June 1989.

LANGUAGES AND TECHNOLOGY SKILLS                                                                                

Languages        French : fluent             English : fluent           Spanish : intermediate

notions of German, Italian and Russian

Computer skills : Proficient in the use of all office software, expert in the use of all musical software ; programming in Max (high level), C (medium), notions of Lisp and HTML

Internet : self-designed bilingual web site, including many downloadable musical excerpts, complete list of works, performances, pictures, etc.  :


Music            emphasis on XXth music, but also a good knowledge of classical, jazz, film music, electronic music, experimental rockŠ

Cinema         great cinephile, especially connoisseur in French and Italian cinema from the 60s and 70s; co-directs an experimental video in 1974 ; directs a live video of Fauré¹s requiem at the Conservatoire de St-Maur (1976) ; realizes the soundtrack (including editing on the moviola) of Helen DeMichiel¹s MA short movie, Production Avenue (UCSD, 1981) ; realization of an experimental video with Rick Bidlack, Playing the Game (UCSD, 1983) ; follows Jean-Pierre Gorin¹s courses on Film History and Film Editing (UCSD, 1982-83) ; collaborates with JP Gorin on his film Jimmy Durante Boulevard (1984) ; writes the music for several experimental videos (Paris, 1986-92) ; writes the music for a TV documentary Une nouvelle demeure pour Picasso (FR3, 52 min., 1985) and for a short TV series, Dessine-moi l¹Europe (FR3, 1989) ; programs three events combining music and image (concerts with slides and video projection, movies) that were to prefigure a Festival (Chalon sur Saône, 1998)

XXth Century history, French and International Politics, French Civilization       

assiduous reader of Le Monde since age 12, and of several other French and US newspapers and magazines ; participates on many occasions to the ballot count in several French elections ; strong interest in the history of WW II and WW I, of Nazism, Spanish Civil War, Decolonization, Independence of Algeria ; from childhood, his dual origin (English mother and French father, having lived 25 years in Algeria, and served in WWII) made him aware of cultural differences ; his five years stay in California developed a passion for comparisons between French and US cultures and civilizations

Fine Arts      particularly drawn to late XIXth and XXth century art, from the Impressionist revelation in his childhood, through Picasso, Miro, Dali and specially Kandinsky (which inspired him in several of his works), to contemporaries Arman, Pennone, Boltanski ; collaborations, exchanges of views with several friends painters (Tania Mouraud, Yvan Messac, Ana Maria Terraccini, Christine Tambuté, Lynn Engström) photographers (Unglee, Dominique Piollet); photography fanatic in his teens, printing his own pictures, a passion recently renewed with digital camera and image processing (creation of the cover of his next CD), and that also gave a work for projected slides and electronics (Pleine Lune, 1981, realized in the electronic studio of Dartmouth College)

Literature    ardent reader, in French, English and Spanish ; has adapted texts of Baudelaire and Lorca for his compositions, and worked on many theatre plays ; has read twice Proust¹s La Recherche du temps perdu, which was an essential inspiration in his life and in particular one piece ; has translated a 30 p. dense article from English by Dennis Smalley (see publications) ; project to translate a travel book on Georgia by Peter Nasmyth

Cuisine and Wine appreciation                good all-round knowledge of French Cuisine and Wines ; has a piece after the cépages of the Gaillac region, given in wine-tasting concerts in diverse places in France and USA (Berkeley)