The vocations of the pianist Michaël Levinas and the composer Michaël Levinas are closely connected. At the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris, his masters were Vlado Perlumuter, Yvonne Lefébure, and Yvonne Loriod for piano and Olivier Messiaen for composition. In 1974, he co-founded the group l’Itinéraire before taking up residency at the Villa Médicis. His training as a composer enabled him to develop a piano style and instrumental culture that traces the history of performance from the end of the Baroque period to the music of the 20th century. Symmetrically, it is doubtlessly hearing the pianist modeling the sound of his instrument that inspired the composer, an acoustic explorer.
Michaël Levinas’ oeuvre has always examined the domain of timbre and acoustics as well as the fundamental question of the text-music relationship. His recent, majestic contributions to the stage are proof: his operas Go-gol (1996) based on Le Manteau by Nicolas Gogol, Les Nègres, on the text by Jean Genet, La Métamorphose based on Franz Kafka, and, more recently, Le Petit Prince based on the text by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
Professor at the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris, Michaël Levinas has been invited to teach composition in the most prestigious academies notably at the Darmstadt summer academy, the seminar at Royaumont. Michaël Levinas was elected to the Académie des beaux-arts on March 18, 2009.