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Chronology: 1978 - 1984


February 11: première of the Diatope, on the esplanade of the Centre George-Pompidou using Xenakis’s electrocacoustic piece La Légende d’Eer (realized at the CEMAMu and in the studios of the Westdeutscher Rundfunk in Cologne) plus a computer generated light show involving some 1600 electronic flashes, 4 laser projectors and 400 pivoting mirrors and prisms.

April 2: Ikhoor is premièred in Paris at the Palais Garnier (Opera House) by the Trio à cordes français.

July: Xenakis is the ‘guest in honor’ at the Centre Acanthes, whose courses and lectures take place in Aix-en Provence.

August 2: Polytope de Mycène is presented in the ruins of the ancient Greek town in the Peloponnisos; in addition to the electroacoustic work Mycène Alpha, composed especially for the occasion, the following works were also performed: A Hélène, A Colonne, Oresteïa, Psappha, Persephassa. Excerpts from Mycène Alpha (the first composition ever to be composed on the UPIC) were interspersed between these pieces and excerpts from Homer were read by Olga Tournaki and Spyros Sakkas. The spectacle was presented five successive evenings, with between 7000 and 10000 spectators attending each performance.


March 3: première of Palimpsest, in Aquila (Italy), by the Divertimento Ensemble, conducted by Sandro Gorli. This work was commissioned by the Academia Filarmonica Romana,

May 17: the Percussions de Strasbourg ensemble premières Pléïades in Strasbourg during a ballet performance, "Le Concile musical", by the Rhine Opera Ballet company, choreographed by Germinal Casado. The different movements of Pléïades alternate with pieces by Giovanni Gabrieli.

May: Xenakis is invited to Quebec by the Canadian Music Council to attend their symposia on the theme "Every child’s music every day". In Montreal, he participates in the Critères group’s congress on "deprofessionalism".

May - September: thanks to Hans Nagel, the Beaubourg Diatope is installed on the Bahnhofplatz in Bonn. The spectacle is presented there three times a day.

June 21: Anemoessa is premièred at the Holland Festival by the Hilversum Radio Orchestra, conducted by Richard Dufallo.

Summer: composition seminar given at the Academia Musicale Chigiana in Sienna (Italy).

October: "Xenakis Days" organized by the Contemporary Music Society of Quebec and the Montreal Symphonic Orchestra.


June 4: Dikthas is premièred during the 30th Beethovenfest in Bonn by Salvatore Accardo and Bruno Canino.

Xenakis is invited to Warsaw and Cracow by the Polish Composers’ Union to give a series of lectures on formalized music.

Xenakis’s music is officially played for the first time in the USSR, by Sylvio Gualda, who perform Psappha in Moscow.

Concerts of Xenakis’s music are organized in New York: Metastasis and Empreintes are performed by the New York Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta, and N’Shima by the Brooklyn Philharmonia, conducted by Lukas Foss.

The CEMAMu and UPIC go to Lille (France) for three weeks, invited by the Lille Festival and the Regional Musical Workshop, for lectures and composition workshops; followed by Bordeaux, were the Sigma Festival invited them for ten days.

The Saint-Denis Festival proposes a "Carte Blanche to Xenakis" where the composer chose and presented the program: works by Dufay and Dunstable were played, as well as the Parisian première of Palimpsest.

Invited by the International Scientific Symposia in Volos, organized by the architecture department of the University of Thessalonki, Xenakis gives a lecture entitled "Spaces and Sources of Auditions and Spectacles".

Xenakis is named member of the National Board of Hellenic Resistance.

He participates in numerous television and radio broadcasts: on France-Culture, in Georges Charbonnier’s show, on the subject of CEMAMu and the UPIC; a Canadian television show on the same subject; an interview on TF1 for Maurice Leroux’s show "Arcana", and the popular "Bios Bahnhof" broadcast at the Westdeutscher Rundfunk.


February 13: première of Aïs for amplified baritone, percussion and orchestra, by Spyros Sakkas, Syvio Gualda, and the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, conducted by Michel Tabachnik, at the Herkulessaal in Munich, where Pithoprakta had previously been premièred.

March 30: Embellie is premièred in Paris by Geneviève Renon-MacLaughlin.

August: Mists, Xenakis’s third solo piano work, is premièred by Roger Woodward at the Edinburgh International Festival.

Xenakis is named Officer in the French Order of Arts and Letters.

September 6: Serment-Orkos is premièred in Athens by the Greek Radio Chorus.

November 22: Komboï is premièred by Elizabeth Chojnacka and Sylvio Gualda at the Rencontres internationales de musique contemporaine in Metz (France).

LXenakis gives a lsecture at the Collège de France (rue d’Ulm, Paris) on "Intuition, theory and musical realization", as part of the Congress on Philosophy and Mathematics.


March 26: Nekuïa is premièred in Cologne by the Cologne Radio Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Michel Tabachnik.

April 23: Pour la Paix (second version) is premièred in Paris, at Radio-France, based on excepts from Françoise Xenakis’s books Ecoute and Les morts pleureront, for four narrators, mixed chorus, stereo tape, with narrators: Danielle Delorme, Françoise Xenakis, Philippe Bardy, Maxence Mailfort and the Radio-France Chorus, conducted by Michel Tabachnik.

October 18: Pour Maurice (Maurice Fleuret) is premièred at the Euopalia Festival in Brussels by Spyros Sakkas and Claude Helffer.

Xenakis is named Knight in the French Legion of Honor.


February 3: première of Shaar [The Door], for large string orchestra, by the Jerusalem Symphonic Orchestra, conducted by Pablo Izquierdo, for the opening of the Israel Festival of Contemporary Music at the Tel-Aviv Museum.

Second half of May: CEMAMu and UPIC participate in the "Music and computers" Congress at the Centre de rencontres culturelles et scientifiques d’Orsay (France), where other prestigious institutions such as the Ecole Polytechnique, HEC, Supélec et INRA also attended.

Xenakis becomes a member of the Berlin Fine Arts Academy.

June 21: simultaneous première of Chant des Soleils in several towns in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region (France).

July 15: première at the Hospices de Beaune of Khal Perr by the Arban Quintet and the Alsace Percussions.

December 2: Pour les baleines is premièred by the Orchestre Colonne, conducted by Diego Masson, as part of the Semaines musicales d’Orléans (France) Festival.


February 14: Thalleïn is premièred in London by the London Sinfonietta, conducted by Elgar Howarth.

April: in collaboration with Jean-Louis Véret, Xenakis presents his entry to the architectural competition for the Cité de la Musique project at the Parc de la Villette (Paris).

"The New National Music Conservatory (NNMC)

The NNMC is composed of two distinct entities (a) and (b) that together create one visual whole and that is hollowed out between the southern most access […] This structure surges towards the sky in an inverted tulip shape composed of hyperbolic paraboloids in reinforced concrete.

The Auditorium, a "jewel box of sounds"


At its base, the Auditorium is in the form of a "patatoid", in order to eliminate any zones of concentration or acoustic shadows. It is curved all around and the curve's degree is constantly and uniformly variable. This leads to a rich reverberation, without favoring any particular spectrum's register.

In order to draw this characteristic into the third dimension, an 11° torsion is applied to the patatoid at the base, […] This offers both a remarkable combination of wavelengths without preferential effects and the effect of an architectural movement. It is important not to forget that in a "jewel box of sounds," the interior architecture may either caress or aggress the sounds within.

The floor of this auditorium is composed of approximately 1 m x 1 m cubes, […] in order to obtain any desired relief with gradients up to, for example, six meters." ("Presentation of the Cité de la Musique Project" [Xenakis archives/BnF, p.2 & 4])

This project was selected among five others, but finally was not retained.

April 16: Lichens is premièred by the Liège Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Pierre Bartholomée.

May 2: Xenakis is admitted to the French Fine Arts Academy, replacing Georges Auric. Olivier Meesiaen gave the welcoming speech.

May 20: Elizabeth Chonjnacka premières Naama in Luxembourg.

September - December: the Festival d’Automne in Paris, having decided to extensively program Xenakis over three years, presents this first year all his works for and with piano as well as some recent orchestral works such as:Aïs, Nekuïa, Komboï and choral works such as A Colone, Medea

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