Henri Dutilleux (French: [ɑ̃ʁi dytijø]; 22 January 1916 – 22 May 2013) was a French composer active mainly in the second half of the 20th century. His work, which garnered international acclaim, followed in the tradition of Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, Albert Roussel and Olivier Messiaen, but in an idiosyncratic style.
Some of his notable compositions include a piano sonata, two symphonies, the Cello Concerto Tout un monde lointain (A whole distant world), the Violin Concerto L'arbre des songes (The tree of dreams) and the String Quartet Ainsi la nuit (Thus the night). Some of these are regarded as masterpieces of 20th-century classical music. Works were commissioned from him by such major artists as Charles Munch, George Szell, Mstislav Rostropovich, the Juilliard String Quartet, Isaac Stern, Paul Sacher, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Simon Rattle, Renée Fleming and Seiji Ozawa.
Writing in the New York Times, Paul Griffiths said: "Mr Dutilleux’s position in French music was proudly solitary. Between Olivier Messiaen and Pierre Boulez in age, he was little affected by either, though he took an interest in their work. .. But his voice, marked by sensuously handled harmony and color, was his own."
Dutilleux was awarded several major prizes throughout his career, notably the Grand Prix de Rome (1938), International Music Council's International Rostrum of Composers (1955), the Grand-Croix de la Légion d'honneur (2004), the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize (2005), the Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society (2008) and the Kravis Prize (2011).
In addition to his activities as a composer, he worked as the Head of Music Production for Radio France for 18 years. He also taught at the École Normale de Musique de Paris, at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique and was twice composer in residence at the Tanglewood music centre in Lenox and Stockbridge, Massachusetts.