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Eugène Bozza

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Eugène Bozza


Eugène Bozza (4 April 1905, Nice, France - 28 September 1991, Valenciennes, France) was a French composer, conductor and administrator. He studied at the Paris Conservatory and won the Grand Prix de Rome in 1934. He was conductor of the Paris Opera-Comique from 1939-1948. He then moved to Valenciennes, where he was director of the Conservatory.

His name is well known to wind soloists and chamber music players because of the pieces he wrote for conservatory performance examinations. Bozza is particularly noted for his wind writing, having composed pieces for nearly all of the winds and strings during his academic career (including the saxophone, for which his 1936 Aria is an important early composition). His chamber music for winds shows great familiarity with the capabilities of the instruments, often demanding a great deal of technical skill, without losing the expressive, melodic style typical of 20th century French chamber music; his music is part of the standard repertoire for several instruments. Examples include his Scherzo for woodwind quintet, a short and lighthearted piece that requires a fair bit of technical skill.

He also had an excellent reputation as a conductor, administrator, and composer of larger works. In addition to his other honors, Bozza was made a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur in 1956.

Bozza's works range from tumultuous pieces, such as the opera Léonidas and the violin concerto Rapsodie nicoise to the more delicate and expressive Concertino for saxophone. Other large works include the lyric drama La dûchesse de Langeais, the ballets Fêtes romaines and Jeu de plage, four symphonies, and a cello concerto. Wind band score include Actanphonie (1970), Allegro et Finale (1953), Ceux qui pieusement sont morts, Children's Overture, Concertino for Alto Saxophone, Concertino for Piano and Winds, and Ouverture rhythmique.

Works for Winds