Greif, Olivier (1950-2000)

by Bruno Fraitag

Olivier Greif is born on the 3rd of June 1950 in Paris. His father studied the piano in Poland before emigrating to France to become a doctor. Child prodigy, Olivier enters the CNSM of Paris (National Music School) at the age of 10, and continues his studies in New York with Luciano Berio.

He writes a first serie of very personal works, far away of what is in vogue at the time, from 1961 to 1981. After a “spiritual research” that lasted nearly 10 years with an Indian master in New York, he writes, from 1991, a new serie of works, intense and dark : « in the last 10 years of his life, Olivier Greif piled up masterworks » (Nicolas Bacri).

He evokes subjects that marked his childhood : war, his father in Auschwitz, the loss of many members of his family in the camps.

Very sick, he passes away on May 13, 2000, at the age of 50. Olivier Greif is starting to be recognized as one of the best music composers of the 20th century.

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