The French composer, Nicolas Bacri, began his musical career with piano lessons at the age of 7, and continued with the study of harmony, counterpoint, analysis and composition as a teenager with Françoise Gangloff-Levéchin and Christian Manen and, after 1979, Louis Saguer. He then entered the Conservatoire de Paris where he studied with a number of composers including Claude Ballif, Marius Constant, Serge Nigg, and Michel Philippot. After graduating in 1983 with a premier prix in composition, he attended the French Academy in Rome. It was during Bacri's two-year residency in Rome (1983-1985) that he met the Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988). Back in Paris, he worked for four years (1987-1991) as head of chamber music for Radio France. He relinquished in 1991 to devote himself entirely to composition.. He had also held residencies at the Casa de Velasquez (Spain) and with a number of French orchestras (from 1993).
Nicolas Bacri is the composer of some one hundred works in many genres, including 6 symphonies, 8 string quartets, and 27 concertos. His early works, which culminate with the First Symphony (1983-4, dedicated to Elliott Carter), are rooted in a constructivist post-Webernian aesthetic. Later compositions, beginning with the Cello Concerto (1985/87, dedicated to Henri Dutilleux), draw on the melodic continuity displaced by the predominant aesthetic of the postwar period. This change of style has placed Bacri in the musical aesthetic of his time, where a spirit of reconciliation prevails." (Philippe Michel, Grove Dictionary of Music, edition 2001)
Nicolas Bacri has received such recognition as Prix de Rome (two years scholarship, Villa Medici, 1983-1985), Prix Stéphane Chapelier (S.A.C.E.M.), Prix André Caplet de l'Académie des Beaux Arts, Prix Pineau-Chaillou 1991 (City of Nantes), Prix Hervé Dugardin (S.A.C.E.M.), Grand Prix de la Nouvelle Académie du Disque 1993, Prix Georges Wildenstein de l'Académie des Beaux Arts, Lauréat de la Fondation d'Entreprise du Crédit National (Natixis), Casa de Velazquez (two years scholarship, Madrid, 1991-1993), Prix Pierre Cardin de l'Académie des Beaux Arts, Prix Claude Arrieu (S.A.C.E.M.), Lauréat du 5ème Concours Jeunes Artistes Européens : Young composers, Leipzig (B.P. Oil Europe) and, last but not least, Grand Prix de la Musique symphonique 2006 (S.A.C.E.M.). Recent important commissions have come from French Ministry of Culture, Radio-France, Orchestre des Jeunes de la Méditérannée, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Pro Quartet... His Symphony No. 6, Op. 60, was a finalist in the 2003 Masterprize international composing competition.
His orchestral works have been performed, among others, by Orchestre National de France, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, English Chamber Orchestra, Münchener Kammerorchester, European Camerata, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Collegium Musicum Bruggensis, Liège Philharmonic orchestra... With such conductors as Kees Backels, Martin Brabbins, Semyon Bychkov, Daniel Harding, Richard Hickox, Jean-Jacques Kantorow, Louis Langrée, Leonard Slatkin, Yann-Pascal Tortelier, Pascal Verrot... CD’s containing N. Bacri's music released since fifteen years includes (mainly) First, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth string quartets, Fourth Symphony (Classical Symphony "Sturm und Drang"), Concerto for cello and orchestra, Second Concerto for violin and orchestra, Une Prière, for violin and orchestra, Flute Concerto, Concerto da camera for clarinet and strings, Concerto amoroso, Concerto Nostalgico, three piano Trios, Sonatas for violin and piano, for cello and piano, for viola and piano etc.