Giuseppe Giorgio Englert


The Swiss composer Giuseppe Giorgio Englert was born on 22 July 1927 in Fiesole near Florence, Italy. From 1945–48, at the Zurich conservatory, he studied composition with Willy Burkhard and organ with Heinrich Funk. In 1949 he continued his organ studies with André Marchal in Paris, and henceforth resided in Paris.

Like many of his colleagues he participated in the international Darmstadt summer courses in the 1950s, where he also attended seminars by René Leibowitz and John Cage. While he served as substitute organist for his teacher Marchal from 1957–62, he also devoted himself to composition, with an emphasis on instrumental works. By the end of the 1960s his creative focus changed, favoring works for audiotape and eventually computer music. The Swiss Gesellschaft für Computermusik awarded him a prize in 1983. Englert supported the Centre de Musique in Paris as well as the Groupe Art et Informatique de Vincennes. Starting in the 1970s he taught composition at Paris University VIII.

Though Englert’s music cannot be characterized as serialistic, the influence of serial music nevertheless informed Englert’s approach to compositional structure. He embraced new and unexpected events and the resulting surprise effect. The development of a personal style, however, was of less significance for him. Rather, in his later years, Englert explored a methodological approach to composition.

Englert died on 29 March 2007 in Paris.