Henri Dutilleux was born on 22 January 1916 in Angers, Maine-et-Loire. He was the great-grandson of the painter Constant Dutilleux and of the composer Julien Koszul. He was also a cousin of the mathematician Jean-Louis Koszul. As a young man he studied harmony, counterpoint and piano with Victor Gallois at the Douai Conservatory before leaving for the Paris Conservatoire. There, between 1933 and 1938, he attended the classes of Jean and Noël Gallon (harmony and counterpoint), Henri Büsser (composition) and Maurice Emmanuel (history of music). Dutilleux won the Prix de Rome in 1938 for his cantata L’anneau du roi but did not complete his entire residency in Rome due to the outbreak of World War II. He worked for a year as a medical orderly in the army and then returned to Paris in 1940, where he worked as a pianist, arranger and music teacher. In 1942 he conducted the choir of the Paris Opera.
Dutilleux worked as Head of Music Production for Radio France from 1945 to 1963. He served as Professor of Composition at the École Normale de Musique de Paris from 1961 to 1970. He was appointed to the staff of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in 1970 and was composer in residence at Tanglewood in 1995 and 1998. His students included the French composers Gérard Grisey and Francis Bayer, the Canadian composers Alain Gagnon and Jacques Hétu, the British composer Kenneth Hesketh, and the American composers Derek Bermel and David S. Sampson. Invited by Walter Fink, he was the 16th composer featured in the annual Komponistenporträt of the Rheingau Musik Festival in 2006. For many years, Dutilleux had a studio on Île Saint-Louis, which was the heart of his existence. He died on 22 May 2013 in Paris, aged 97.
- January, 22, 1916
- Angers, France
- May, 22, 2013
- Paris, France