At the edge of 30, the composer Benjamin Attahir is already in the major leagues. The young, Toulouse-born musician has just returned from a stint at the Villa Médécis, where he was artist-in-residence after excelling at the Conservatoire de Paris. He also won the concours général, is a trained violinist and is one of the last composers ever to have benefited from precious advice from Pierre Boulez.
His music, not unlike that of the Lebanese composer Zad Moultaka, explores the connections between east and west, with a freedom of style that marks the listener in the most powerful, visceral manner. Around Ravel and Schubert, three of Attahir's pieces, played tonight by a quartet of four talented musicians, are a direct line to this long history of music, that does not erase, or indeed worship, the past.