After studying musicology at the Université de Toulouse, and composition and analysis at the Paris conservatory, Philippe Hurel carried out research at IRCAM (1985-1989), and received a grant to live and work at the Villa Médicis in Rome. He later returned to IRCAM, where he taught computer music from 1997 to 2001. Recipient of the 1995 Siemens Foundation Prize (Six Miniatures en Trompe-l’œil), Hurel was awarded the 2002 Prix SACEM for composers, as well as the 2003 Prix SACEM for premiere of the year (Aura). Formerly artist-in-residence at the Arsenal de Metz and the Philharmonie de Lorraine (2000-02), he has served as artistic director of the Ensemble Court-circuit (under the musical direction of Pierre-André Valade) since 1991.
Hurel’s works have been performed by numerous ensembles and orchestras, under conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Esa Pekka Salonen, David Robertson, Jonathan Nott, Reinbert de Leeuw, and many others, as well as Pierre-André Valade, with whom he maintains a steady working partnership.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra devoted a workshop/concert to Hurel’s work as part of the 2002 MusicNow festival in Chicago, while the BBC Symphony Orchestra performed Flash-back in the same year. In March of 2003, the American Speculum Musicae and Argentino ensembles performed several of his works in New York during the Sounds French festival. A featured guest at the 2004 Ultima d’Oslo festival, two of Hurel’s latest compositions were premiered by the Bit20 ensemble and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra during the event, capping a season that included performances of his music by the Berlin Radio Orchestra. Currently in the works is a cycle of short pieces for solo instruments or duets entitled Loops. Hurel’s music is edited by Gérard Billaudot, and published by Editions Henry Lemoine. His recordings are available on the Universal label (Contemporary composers) and on Eon (Flash-back.).