Richard Dubugnon was born in Lausanne (Switzerland) in 1968 and has both Swiss and French nationality. He started studying music at the age of 20 after reading History in Montpellier (France), and was accepted into the Paris Conservatoire in 1992, where he graduated with prizes in Double Bass, Counterpoint and Fugue. Dubugnon also studied Composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Paul Patterson, graduating in 1997 with a DipRAM and a Mmus in Composition, before becoming a Composition fellow there in 1998. When he returned to France in 2002, he became the recipient of the Pierre Cardin Prize from the Academie des Beaux Arts in Paris.
Described as “driven by a playful modern sensibility” by the New York Times, Dubugnon’s music has been championed by Janine Jansen, who premiered his Violin Concerto with the Orchestre de Paris conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen in December 2008, shortly after performing his Piano Quartet at the Berliner Philharmoniker. Jansen recorded three pieces written by Dubugnon for her CD Beau Soir (DECCA) which instantly achieved ‘Gold’ status in the Netherlands when it was released in September 2010.
Emmanuel Krivine gave the American premiere of his Arcanes Symphoniques to great acclaim with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in January 2004, and in 2008 Dubugnon’s music was performed by the New York Philharmonic at the Avery Fischer Hall. In the Summer 2010, Richard was accepted for residencies at Yaddo (NY) and the MacDowell Colony (NH).
In 2007-8 Dubugnon was composer-in-residence with the Orchestre National de Montpellier (France) where he completed the Arcanes Symphoniques cycle for orchestra, recorded by the Orchestre National de Montpellier and released by Universal in November 2008. This recording won the Grand Prix Lyceen in April 2009, with the votes of over 400 schools in France. A Naxos CD of chamber music from 2002 received excellent reviews from the U.S., British, French and Swiss press.
In 2011 Battlefield, a concerto for two pianos and double orchestra, was given its première by the LA Philharmonic, conducted by Semyon Bychkov and the two pianists to whom the work is dedicated, Katia and Marielle Labèque at Walt Disney Hall, since then it has also been performed by the Orchestra de Paris in France, and as part of the 2012 Proms Series by the BBC Symphony Orchestra. In 2013 the piece was performed by the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and NHK Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo.
More recent works include Helvetia, Vol. Alpin, the world première of which came at the closing concert of the 2013 Verbier Festival. The piece, commissioned to mark the Festival’s 20th Anniversary, was performed by the Verbier Festival Orchestra under Kent Nagano. Symphonie de chambre was commissioned as part of Dubugnon’s residency with the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne and first performed in October 2013. Le jeu des sept clefs, also commissioned as part of Dubugnon’s residency, is a new work for the orchestra’s ‘Discovery Series’ for young audiences and will receive its première in April 2014.
Dubugnon has been championed by conductors that include Alain Altinoglu, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Stephane Deneve, Enrique Diemecke, Mikko Franck, Ed Gardner, Friedmann Layer, Laurent Petitgirard, Muhai Tang. Orchestras include the Orchestre National de France, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Orchestre National de Lille, Orchestre Colonne, Orchestre Lamoureux, Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice, Orchestre Poitou-Charentes, Orchestre Francais des Jeunes, and the London Mozart Players.
Dubugnon has been involved with many educational projects in the U.K., the U.S. and France. He has also taught Composition at the Royal Academy of Music and the Purcell School.