Composer Cyril Michaud awarded Maurice Ohana prize

I first met composer Cyril Michaud in Montbéliard, France, at the Conservatory. He has studied both guitar and composition, while pursuing a Master in Multimedia at the University. I was thrilled to learn that he was awarded the 1st prize at the 2012 Maurice Ohana composition competition.

A singular composition competition

This year, the composers had to write a composition for solo acoustic guitar in three versions : easy, medium level, advanced/professional level. Here is the first four bars of Cyril's score, in each of the three versions:


medium level:

advanced/professional level:

Nebula chroma

Last week, Cyril kindly accepted to answer a couple of questions. He started by explaining to me the composition title:

  • "I chose the word Nebula because I wanted to translate in the music a kind of perpetual harmonic fog. I play quite a bit with the instrument resonances."
  • "Chroma simply stands for chromatic. The harmonic language of the piece is built out of two intervals: major and minor seconds."

Cyril Michaud aims at composing music "with a certain degree of complexity" but he also strives for "accessible" and " memorizable" music. That's maybe why you can hear in his guitar piece elements inherited from tonal cadences or modal music. The overall structure constitutes another traditional aspect : 5 contrasting parts are presented with the classical alternation "fast / slow / fast / slow / fast".


Cyril is currently working on two compositions: a string quartet and a composition for violin and recorded electronic music.

Next performance of Nebula Chroma is taking place at the end of May during the FIMU festival in Belfort.


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