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Born in Armenia and raised in France, Michel Petrossian was attracted by the world of art since his childhood, starting by painting and studying the guitar and cello, and turning quickly to composing his own music.
Since the beginning of his studies at the National Music Conservatory in Paris, France (composition class with Guy Reibel) he has received numerous commissions and was invited as artist in residence in France and abroad.
A keen popularizer of contemporary music, he co-founded the Cairn ensemble dedicated to this repertoire in 1998, and his music was programmed on the French public radios, France Musique and France Culture.
An enthusiast for ancient civilizations, he has studied a dozen functional languages. He received a Master in Classics at the Sorbonne University in Paris, France, and has taught biblical Hebrew at the Catholic Institute in Paris, sojourning one year in Jerusalem at the French Archeological School. Such practical studies got him interested in ancient Middle Eastern music, a subject he has taught at the Polis Institute in Jerusalem; he also worked with Annie Belis, a CNRS chief of department and a specialist in ancient Greek music.
He has travelled extensively in areas with a rich history such as Iran, Ethiopia, Israel, Uzbekistan, Jordan, Armenia and Georgia, among others.
Nurtured by these experiences, a new way of composing emerged: his piano concerto In The Wake Of Ea, inspired by a Babylonian tablet, was chosen in 2012 as the winner among over a hundred pieces by the jury of the International Composition Prix Queen Elisabeth in Belgium.
In 2015 he was requested to compose a piece, Ciel à Vif, for three soloists, choir and orchestra, premiered at the Chatelet Theatre in Paris, France, under the baguette of Alain Altinoglu.
The same year he received a commission from Musicatreize ensemble (12 solo singers) to be performed together with the experimental film Les Saisons (1973) of Artavazd Péléshian during the Festival of Aix en Provence, in France. The piece has been performed many times in different places ever since (Paris, New York, Marseille, etc.)
On a completely different front of activity, in 2016 Michel Petrossian co-signed with jazzman Tigran Hamasyan the soundtrack of Bravo, virtuose!, a movie by Léo Minassian.
This include a Clarinet concerto performed by Philippe Berrod, who also acts as a character in the movie.
His work in the movie business continues with Robert Guédiguian film Gloria Mundi whose soundtrack he composed in early 2019.
Another recent project was Michel Petrossian’s opera-oratorio Le Chant d’Archak on original text by leading French author Laurent Gaudé, for a formation of two directors, twelve solo voices, a children choir and instruments. The theme is the disappearance of language, its preservation by two wise men and its restitution leading to the drama. The piece made its debut at the Radio France Auditorium in Paris.
More recently, he has developed several projects in the USA, such as the american premiere of his « La lutte ardente du vert et de l’or » for piano at the Carnegie hall in New York (2015) by the pianist Andrew Tyson (laudatory critics in “The New York Times”), Rhapsodies Around The Worlds (University of Michigan, 2016) where one composer per continent has been selected, Michel Petrossian standing for Europe, Zipper Hall (Los Angeles, California, 2017) with a commission of the trio, a premiere of his string quartet “Liber Secretorum Henoch” based on his trip to Ethiopia (Los Angeles, California, 2019) and a commission by the University of Notre Dame (Indiana) 2019.
His music is published by Editions Gravis (Berlin).