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Stéphane Bortoli was born in 1956, and following his secondary education at  the École Alsacienne in Paris studied harmony with Yvonne Desportes and piano with Miloz Magin.  Then he attended post-graduate classes in harmony, counterpoint, orchestration, analysis and composition at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique (C.N.S.M.) with Alain Bernaud, Jean-Claude Henry, Marius Constant, Claude Ballif and Alain Bancquart. In 1988, the jury unanimously awarded him the First Prize in composition.
He has also attended numerous masterclasses :

  • piano in 1974 with Vlado Perlemuter in Salzburg, in 1983 with Alain Neveux in Aix-en-Provence and in 1985 with Jean-François Heisser in Les Arcs.
  • composition and analysis in  1978 with Iannis Xenakis at the Acanthes Centre, in 1983 with Luciano Berio at the Academia Chigiana in Sienna, in 1986 with Franco Donatoni, in 1990 at the department of electroacoustic and computerised music of the conservatory in Lyon, in 1991 with Elliott Carter in Villeneuve lez Avignon, and at  IRCAM in 2000.
  • Early Music at the Britten School in Périgueux with Gérard Geay and Jean-Yves Haymoz.

Stéphane Bortoli has also made several trips abroad :

  •  Frankfurt for a meeting with the students in composition of the Hochschule (with a grant from the C.N.S.M. of Paris),
  •  Munich for the Biennial of the Music-theatre Event (with a grant from the French theatrical performing right society S.A.C.D),
  • the Paul Sacher Foundation in Basel to analyse Bruno Maderna's scores,
  • the Banff Center for the Arts in Canada as a guest composer (with grants from the C.S.N.M. of Paris and the Sasakawa Foundation).


In 1992, he was invited as composer-in-residence at the Napoule Foundation for Arts, and again in 1997 at  Royaumont Abbey.

The SACEM awarded him the Stéphane Chapelier Clergue Gabriel Marie Prize in 1992, and the Georges Enesco Prize in 1995.

The French Beaux Arts Academy awarded him the Paul-Louis Weiller Prize in 1996, and the Georges Bizet Prize in 1997.

Stéphane Bortoli participated in Présences 92, Présences 93 and Présences 2000, the International Festivals of Comtemporary Music organised by Radio France.

Until 2019, he as been a teacher of composition, analysis and orchestration at the Ecole nationale de musique, de danse et de théâtre in Mantes en Yvelines

Stéphane Bortoli’s music is lyrical, often tense, sometimes nostalgic, essentially free. It takes its time, enjoying moving from meditative moments to progressions by ascending waves, from sweet, dreamy sequences to vehement ones. Bortoli’s music language is neither tonal nor atonal. There is always a pivot note which the listener can lean on as a reference. But the harmonic spaces, be they diatonic, chromatic or microtonal often sound as though they are freed from gravitation.
For some years, he has been working on a cycle of works inspired by the Bible and by the poet Christian Gabriel/le Ricord Guez, this cycle being titled Le livre des consolations.