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Roger Boutry (Piano, Conductor)

Born: February 27, 1932 - Paris, France

The French French composer, pedagougue, conductor and pianist, Roger Boutry, demonstrated at a very early age that he was musically gifted. His early musical education began with lessons in piano. At age 11, he began his studies at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris with Nadia Boulanger, Marguerite Long and Tony. He obtained there eight First Prizes, including one for piano at the age of 16 years and one for orchestral conducting in 1953 in the class of Louis Fourestier as well as in the subjects of music theory, chamber music, harmony, fugue, counterpoint, accompaniment and composition. After this unusual momentum, he then started an international career as pianist established by the Prize obtained at the prestigious Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1958. He continued simultaneously his work as a composer and in 1954 he obtained a First Rome Prize, for his cantata On ne badine pas avec l'amour, which won him a fruitful stay at the famous Villa Médicis.

Then, numerous occasions to express himself were offered to Roger Boutry, first as a composer and pianist (he played conducted by prestigious conductors such as André Cluytens, Désiré-Emile Inghelbrecht, Pierre Monteux, Pierre Dervaux, Jean Martinon), then as conductor (he was invited to numerous French and foreign orchestras).

Roger Boutry has divided his professional career primarily among conducting, composing, and teaching. His appointment in 1962 as Harmony professor at the National Superior Conservatory of Music of Paris marked the beginning of his pedagogical activities, well-known beyond the French borders. He also obtained, among other prizes, the Great Musical Prize of the City of Paris (1963), the Georges Bizet Prize of the Institut de France, the Great Promotion Prize of the SACEM. It was in 1973 that he was entrusted with the musical direction of the band of the Garde républicaine in Paris, France’s most distinguished professional wind ensemble, created on October 4, 1802 by Napoleon. He was the president of this famous group until 1997, and has made numerous radio broadcasts and LP and CD recordings with this elite band. He also was guest conductor with many European orchestras, such as the Choeurs & Orchestre National de l'Opera de Monte-Carlo (Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo). And if all these activities weren't enough, he has also become known as a first rate pianist with an eclectic repertoire.

As composer, Roger Boutry has established himself as a versatile projector of musical ideas in a variety of genres. He has more than 60 published works to his credit. Influenced by Debussy and Ravel, Boutry's music is known for its expressive melodies. His most recent recording includes his Variations sur un theme Imaginaire for Piano and Wind Ensemble, on which he is the soloist. This CD also contains his Eclats d’Azur, an original work for saxophone quartet and wind ensemble. He is perhaps best known for his art of writing for wind instruments. To saxophonists, he is most famous for his two outstanding compositions: Divertimento and Sérénade, both of which are for alto saxophone and piano. Other works he has composed for saxophone: Azar for alto and piano, Improvisations, Etincelles for saxophone quartet, Alternances, Sketch, as well as Divertimento for saxophone and string orchestra, a work that can be chosen for the final round of the 4th International Adolphe Sax Competition (Dinant - 2006). Less known, but equally admirable, are his masterful works for strings.

As accomplished composer, outstanding pianist, conductor with a wide and varied repertoire, Roger Boutry was elected Personality of the Year in 1989, for the whole of his artistic activities.

Source: Congrès Mondial du Saxophone Website; All Music Guide (Author: Lynn Vought); German Wikipedia Website, English translation by Aryeh Oron (February 2011); Adolphe Sax Competition Website; Eugene Rousseau 9th Annual International Saxophone Master Class (June 2007)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (February 2011)

Roger Boutry: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Roger Boutry - France (Congrès Mondial du Saxophone)
Roger Boutry et la musique d'Harmonie (Musica et Memoria) [French]
Adolphe Sax Competition: The Jury
Eugene Rousseau 9th Annual International Saxophone Master Class: Roger Boutry

Roger Boutry (Wikipedia) [German]
Roger Boutry (World Lingo)
Roger Boutry (

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