Hèctor Parra Esteve
Hèctor Parra Esteve2021-2022 http://hectorparra.net
Born in Barcelona (Spain) in 1976, Hèctor Parra is a composer.
Hèctor Parra studied at the Barcelona Conservatory, where he was awarded several prizes with distinction in Composition and Piano. In 2002-2003 he attended IRCAM’s programme on Composition and Computer Music and then continued his training at Royaumont, Centre Acanthes, Takefu in Japan, and Geneva’s Higher School of Music under B. Ferneyhough, J. Harvey, M. Jarrell, P. Leroux and P. Manoury.
He has received numerous commissions from such institutions as the Louvre Museum, the Berlin Academy of the Arts, the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord and the Gürzenich Orchester Köln. His music is regularly included in the programming of such concert halls as the Paris Philharmonic, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Cologne Philharmonic, the Barcelona Auditori, the Palau de la Música Catalana (resident composer from 2015 to2017), the Nouveau Siècle in Lille (resident composer in 2017-2018), the Gasteig in Munich and the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Hèctor Parra has devoted himself to lyrical composition for many years. His opera Das geopferte Leben (The Sacrificed Life), from an original libretto by Marie NDiaye, was composed for the Freiburger Barockorchester and the Ensemble Recherche. It was created for the 2014 Munich Biennial and hailed by Opernwelt as “one of the year’s best creations”. His opera Wilde was created for the 2015 Schwetzingen Festival: “An extraordinary opera” according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and “A masterpiece” according to Süddeutsche Zeitung. Since the world premiere of his latest opera, Les Bienveillantes (The Kindly Ones) at the Anvers’ Opera House in 2019, a work based on Jonathan Littell’s novel of the same name, with a libretto by Händl Klaus and directed by Calixto Bieito, the international press has continued to heap praises on the event: “The 21st century’s most important opera”, writes La Vanguardia, “Highly expressive, masterfully orchestrated music” according to the Neue Zurcher Zeitung, and “Immensely powerful and extremely intelligent” according to Deutschlandfunk. His works have obtained numerous awards, including Catalonia’s National Culture Award in 2017, The 2011 Ernst von Siemens Foundation’s Composition Award, the El Mundo newspaper’s 2009 Tendances Award, the 2008 Impuls / Klangfroum Wien Award, the 2007 San Francisco Earplay Donald Aird Memorial, The Ensemble Intercontemporain’s 2005 Tremplin Award and the Spanish National Institute of Music’s 2002 Composition Award.
Since 2002, Hèctor Parra has lived in Paris, where he was the IRCAM programme’s Professor of Composition from 2013 to 2017. His works are published by Durand.
The project he is working on at Villa Medici is devoted to composition of the chamber opera Orgia (Orgy), inspired by Pier Paulo Pasolini’s theatrical text of the same name exposing his personal drama. The opera’s male protagonist carries out the most powerful act imaginable: an accusatory suicide that shows up a society filled with incomprehension, hypocrisy, cruelty and contempt for all types of minorities. The opera is to be written for three solo voices, a modern instrumental ensemble and a baroque instrument (archlute). His residency at Villa Medici will provide an opportunity to carry out field research on Pasolini and the city of Rome where he chose to live, became a filmmaker and where he was able to nurture his intellectual development devoted to social criticism.
Image : © Daniele Molajoli