© Denis Cloutier

Francis Battah is a Québécois Montreal-based composer. After graduating in classical and jazz piano, Francis obtained a bachelor's degree in composition from the Université de Montréal and a master's degree in composition from McGill University. He studied composition with Denys Bouliane, Alan Belkin, Denis Gougeon and Ana Sokolović.

His catalog includes works for solo instruments, chamber ensembles, and orchestra. He has received commissions from the Orchestre Métropolitain, the Orchestre de l'Agora, the Bozzini Quartet, the Quatuor Cobalt, the choir Les Voix Parallèles de Vincent-d'Indy, the collective Bakarlari, and pianists Philippe Prud'homme and Michel Raymond.

His music has been performed at the Bozzini Vancouver Lab, the Canadian Music Competition, the Prix d'Europe, the composition residencies of the Orchestre de la Francophonie, the Soir Festival, the Société de Concerts de Montréal's creation evenings, the Viver programming, and the Montreal Contemporary Music Lab.

His areas of interest are diverse: the influence of jazz in contemporary music, microtonality, idiomatic piano writing in the tradition of the 19th and 20th centuries, the creation of an imaginary folklore emphasizing melody and modality.

A grantee of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, and the Conseil des Arts de Montréal, Francis has won a dozen competitions, including the Collégien Prize for Contemporary Music 2018-2019, the Orchestre Métropolitain Beethoven Heritage Composition Competition (2020), the 2021 SOCAN Foundation Grand Prize, the 2022 Andrew Svoboda Prize, and the 2023 Pierre-Mantha Award from the Prix d'Europe.Héritage de Beethoven (2020), le Grand Prix 2021 de la Fondation SOCAN, le Prix Andrew Svoboda 2022 et la Bourse Pierre-Mantha du prix d?Europe 2023.

© Denis Cloutier

In Europe, he has won five prizes at the Antonin Dvorak International Composition Competition in 2019 and 2023, including special prizes for the best fugue and best orchestral composition. In 2023, he won both the first and third prizes of the International Free Range Competition organized by the Alvarez Chamber Orchestra and Universal Edition.

Interested in the connections between music and literature, Francis has composed melodramas based on poems by Pierre Nepveu and Fernand Ouelette, in collaboration with pianist Philippe Prud'homme and actors Dany Boudreault, Béatrice Picard, and Monique Miller. In February 2018, his melodrama for piano, violin, cello, and narrator was presented as part of the Conseil des arts de Montréal en tournée. This one-hour work is based on twenty poems by Pierre Nepveu, taken from his collection "La dureté de la matière et de l'eau" (2015, Noroît)..

As an independent producer, Francis has organized numerous concerts. He has also recorded and published several of his works for piano and chamber ensemble. His scores are published by Doberman-Yppan, Nouveau Théâtre Musical, and the Canadian Music Centre.