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Suzanne Giraud was born in Metz and grew up in Strasbourg, where she began to study music for piano, violin, viola and music theory before entering the Paris Conservatoire. There she studied harmony, counterpoint, composition, analysis, orchestration and conducting. She studied composition in Paris with Claude Ballif, Dufourt Hughes and Tristan Murail, then at the Accademia Chigiana of Siena with Franco Donatoni. She took summer courses in Darmstadt with Brian Ferneyhough. She studied for two years at the Villa Medici from 1984 to 1986.
Suzanne Giraud's works have received prizes and awards including the Prix Georges Enesco, the SACEM, Prix Georges Bizet, the Academy of Fine Arts, selected the UNESCO International Rostrum of two selections of the ISCM (Budapest in 1986 and Manchester 1998). She writes for strings, percussion and orchestra.
Her works are often inspired by poetry, painting or architecture. Selected examples include:
- Offering to Venus, from a painting by Titian
- Jaffa, a painting by Antoine-Jean Gros
- To One in Paradise, a Poe poem
- What you see in the world? according to Mellin de Saint-Gelais
- Petrarca, a collection of madrigals on Petrarch's sonnets
- Music comes from elsewhere, from The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
- The Red Depths, uses electronics to represent the appearance of colors in underwater environments
- Blue Shadow, a vision related to a poem written by Suzanne Giraud
- Enchantments IV
- Enchantments V reflects the architecture of San Gallo and Bramante.
- The Fragrance Vase with Olivier Py (opera 2003)
- Concerto for cello and orchestra, performed on tour by Anne Gastinel
- Enchantments VII for voice and six instruments
- Enchantments VIII for cello octet (Rencontres de Beauvais)
- Monkey (children's opera)
- Sea Ice and Mobile Phone (Theatre Beauvais)
- Fables, for narrator, children's choir and orchestra
- Promenade du soir for viola and piano (1987)
- Élaboration for viola and piano (2000)
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