Jean-Pascal Beintus

Jean-Pascal Beintus has won global acclaim for his highly expressive and compelling compositions. Born in Toulouse, France in 1966, he studied double bass and composition at the conservatories of Nice, Lyon and Paris. When John Eliot Gardiner created the Lyon Opéra Orchestra in 1983, he selected Beintus as a founding double bass player. Beintus used the ensemble as a source of inspiration in composing his first work, Samskara, for double bass and chamber orchestra.

In 1996 Kent Nagano, then music director of the Opéra de Lyon, recognized Jean-Pascal Beintus' talents as composer and began to commission works from him. Beintus quickly built up a reputation as a fluent and versatile composer and orchestrator, receiving numerous prestigious commissions. Since then, he has written music for nearly every type of ensemble, and for theatre, concert hall and film.

The hallmarks of Beintus' compositions are their harmonic richness, inventive metrical play, and lush orchestrations. Recent commissions have come from the Berlin Philharmonic (He's Got Rhythm: Homage to George Gershwin), the Russian National Orchestra (Wolf Tracks), the Hallé Orchestra (Couleurs cuivres), the Berkeley Symphony (Luna Tree and Bremen Town Musicians), the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (Kobe Symphony, which was featured on David Benoit's 2005 release, Orchestral Stories, on Peak Records), l'Orchestre de Paris (Cordes et lames), the State of California (Manzanar: An American Story), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Nature Suite), and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (Le Petit Prince).

Jean-Pascal Beintus' film compositions include the original scores for 11th Hour, the Leonardo DiCaprio/Tree Media 2007 film on the state of the global environment, and Volpone, featuring Gérard Depardieu, written with Frédéric Auburtin. Beintus also orchestrated Alexandre Desplat's original compositions for the films Syriana, The Queen, and the Golden Globe-winning score of The Painted Veil.

A recording of Jean-Pascal Beintus' Wolf Tracks featuring Bill Clinton, Mikhail Gorbachev and Sophia Loren as narrators (PentaTone Classics) received a 2004 GRAMMY Award. Antonio Banderas narrated the Spanish version, released in February 2007, and famed Russian actors Oleg Tabakov and Sergei Bezrukov teamed up for the recently-released Russian version. Plans are underway for renditions in Italian, French and Mandarin, as well as film adaptations featuring Beintus' original composition.

Forthcoming projects include a commission from the Russian National Orchestra to compose a piece based on Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid, a work for orchestra and narrator based on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's beloved story, Le Petit Prince, and, in collaboration with Kent Nagano and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, an ambitious project to arrange and orchestrate traditional Japanese folk songs.

What They’re Saying

"To present American and Russian musicians performing and teaching together at Festival Napa precisely the kind of effort that sustains vital cultural a critical time for both societies. [This] resonates with the public [and] is meaningful for the musician participants...Cultural diplomacy and music offer alternatives to contention and sustain important linkages between our societies for the long run...Now more than ever we need viable citizen-to-citizen points of contact and dialogue."

James F. Collins (Ambassador Ret.)

Senior Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace