After piano and composition studies in Geneva, Hugues Dufourt obtained his degree in Philosophy in 1967. A year later, he was in charge of music programming at Villeurbanne’s Théâtre de la Cité, directed by Roger Planchon. He then taught philosophy at the Université Jean-Moulin Lyon III (1968-1973) and became one of the directors of the L’Itinéraire ensemble in 1975. Research Coordinator at the CNRS since 1977, then Research Director in 1985, he founded the Collectif de recherche instrumentale et de synthèse sonore (Criss) with Alain Bancquart and Tristan Murail, the “Recherche musicale” information and documentation center (1982), the Séminaire d’histoire sociale de la musique (1984), the Forum Ensemble of Lyon (1985) and the Ph.D. cursus “Musique et musicologie du XXe siècle” (1989), in partnership with the CNRS, the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), the École normale supérieure, and Ircam. His main writings have been collected in Musique, Pouvoir, Écriture (Christian Bourgois, 1991).
A spectral music pioneer and an associate to the management of the ensemble l’Itinéraire, Dufourt received the Grand Prix de la Musique de Chambre (SACEM) in 1975, the Grand Prix of the Académie Charles Cros in 1980, the Koussevitsky Award in 1985, the 1987 Jury Award of the Festival Musique en Cinéma, and the SACEM’s Prix des Compositeurs in 1994. His works have been performed in international festivals and in the major capitals of the world.
In December 2000, Hugues Dufourt received the Prix du Président de la République for his œuvre, at the premiere recording of Erewhon, with Les Percussions de Strasbourg conducted by Lorraine Vaillancourt (Accord).