Catalogue for Marc Lys



Lys, Marc (b. 1963, Dinan). Composer, pianist, trombonist, conductor, professor at the Paris Conservatoire

Permanent composer member of the Collegio musicale and founder; See Rules of Procedure for the Fund [Link]




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Marc Lys was born in Dinan, France, in 1963. Early on he developed an interest in music, encouraged by his parents, keen amateur musicians and opera lovers. He took piano lessons, then took up percussion and trombone so that he could join the local wind band.

With his talent for music, he naturally focused his studies on the arts, attending classes at Rennes School of Music. Alongside his instrumental skills, he began to learn composition and orchestration under Franz Tournier. His piano teacher, Jean-Léon Cohen, introduced him to Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen, who advised him to prepare for the entrance exam for the Paris Conservatoire (CNSMDP).

After passing performance exams in piano and trombone at the Ecole Normale de Musique (ENM) in Paris, he was accepted at the Paris Conservatoire in 1982. He was fortunate to be taught by Pierre Sancan, himself a composer, who encouraged him to continue his studies in musicology and to keep up his trombone playing. Lys also won a place at the Lyon Conservatoire (CNSMD) to study trombone under Michel Becquet, while continuing his piano and music theory studies in Paris with Alain Bernaud, Bernard De Crépy and Roger Boutry. He then decided to base his studies fully in Paris, taking trombone lessons with Gilles Millière and also joining the advanced analysis class run by Jacques Castérède. He finally completed his extensive music studies in 1990, winning several First Prizes (“premiers prix”).

While he was a student, he founded a brass ensemble featuring drum kit and keyboard, the “New Brass Power Band”, with fellow students. Lys himself provided the repertoire for the group, with original compositions and several arrangements of existing pieces in jazz-rock style. The group played together for three years and was widely acclaimed, receiving an invitation from French Culture Minister Jack Lang to play at the first editions of the famous “Fête de la Musique”.

Marc Lys then decided to turn his hand to piano teaching, and, having been fortunate enough to work with some outstanding teachers himself, he passed his piano teaching diploma. He was appointed as a teacher at Lille School of Music and became actively involved in the musical life of the region as a pianist – giving solo recitals, performing concertos with the student orchestra and playing chamber music – and trombonist – playing in the regional big band and in the orchestra at the school of music under conductors Jean-Sébastien Béreau, Jean-Marc Cochereau and Michel Piquemal. He also became artistic director for the brass ensemble at the school of music, again including in the repertoire several of his own compositions, arrangements and transcriptions in a wide variety of styles. The ensemble regularly performs concerts in the Nord-Pas de Calais region and in Belgium.

Keen to improve his skills in writing for jazz ensembles, he attended the 1990 summer session at the prestigious Eastman School of Music in Rochester, United States, where he worked with leading teachers and arrangers Bill Dobbins and Bill Holman. His arrangement “Marc, Say Yes!”, based on the Marseillaise, won an award and was performed at the closing concert attended by leading trumpeter Michael Brecker.

In 1996, he was awarded his music school management diploma after completing the course organised by the Boulogne-Billancourt School of Music and its director Alfred Herzog.

The following year he was commissioned to compose a piece – the Hymne du nouveau siècle – for the opening of the international brass festival in Lille. Lys’ continued interest in wind and brass, especially the trombone, inspired him to compose a show entitled Feezzy et le trombone de Merlin, which has been performed several times and has provided a real boost for trombone playing across France. His next show, Le tambour de Bongo, for solo singers, choir, African percussion and wind band, was staged in northern France with an impressive 400 performers.

After being invited to compose for the Chicago Chamber Orchestra (for which he wrote Cocktail in Chicago), he was commissioned to write a musical for the Nord-Pas de Calais education authority, Destinations lointaines, to be performed by all the secondary school choirs in the region.

Since 2005, Marc Lys has been in charge of the class for sight-reading and brass ensemble techniques at the Paris Conservatoire. He also teaches chamber music classes at Cefedem Ile de France, a centre for music teacher training.

Lys tries to maintain a balance between his different musical interests and divides his time between his activities as a teacher, performer, composer and conductor. He makes a point of attending rehearsals of his own works with professional, student or amateur orchestras, occasionally even conducting himself (ensembles include the Air Force band, the Paris Conservatoire wind orchestra, the wind band of the Centre region and wind bands from the Montpellier, Bayonne, Dunkirk and Héricourt schools of music). His concertos for soloists and wind orchestras, including Vertiges, Sacrée journée, Trip-sticks and Tangothique, are performed on these occasions and have featured leading soloists such as Jacques Mauger, Jean Raffard, François Thuillier, Anthony Caillet and Philippe Limoge.

In 2010, he founded the “Villa of Composers” with Christophe Guyard to promote and preserve the works of talented composers in major libraries worldwide.


E-mail address: [e-mail]
Personal webpage: [Link]
Professional website: [Link]


  • The Villa of Composers / lm3d-1631 / a-1409
  • Document revised: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 11:47:23 +0100

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  • 0014 Feezzy et le trombone de Merlin for quintette et ensemble de trombones, trio jazz, chœur d'enfants, 3 comédiens; 65 min., Editions Feeling, lm3d-1631-CCN0014, 1999
  • 0022 Le tambour de Bongo for chœur, 2 voix solistes, récitant, orch. d'harmonie, percus africaines; 60 min., Editions Feeling, lm3d-1631-CCN0022, 2004
  • 0030 Destinations lointaines for chœur, 4 voix solistes, ensemble jazz et accordéon; 80 min., unpublished, lm3d-1631-CCN0030, 2008
  • 0042 Chapeau for solistes voix mixtes, choeurs, ensemble instrumental; 50 min., unpublished, lm3d-1631-CCN0042, 2014


  • 0039 Funissimo for big-band; 8 min., unpublished, lm3d-1631-CCN0039, 2013
  • 0040 Bracass'roll for big-band; 7 min., unpublished, lm3d-1631-CCN0040, 2013