Biografía – Daniel Deffayet Ingles.

Daniel Deffayet began studying solfege at age seven, violin at age 8, and saxophone at age 12. Entranced by the warmth and beauty of the saxophone’s tone quality, which he heard through the recordings of Marcel Mule in the 1930s, Deffayet began to study the instrument with Mule in 1938. When the class of saxophone was established in 1942, and Mule appointed the professor at the Paris Conservatory (C.N.S.M.*), Deffayet was a member. In the Spring of 1943, he won First Prize for Saxophone, First Named. He also graduated in Chamber Music (1944, J. Benvenuti’s class), violin (1945, A. Tourret’s class), and harmony (M. Durflé’s class).

In October, 1940, Deffayet began replacing Mule for various engagements at the Opéra and Opéra Comique. As an orchestral musician, Deffayet has performed under the direction of such famous conductors as Dorati, Kubelik, Boulez, Bernstein, Maazel, Markevitch, Martinon, Monteux, Leinsdorf, Paray, Villa-Lobos, Fricsay, Cluytens, Munch, and Ozawa. From 1966 until his death in 1988, Herbert von Karajan called him to be his accredited saxophonist for important recordings and to play solos with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also played regularly with several Parisian orchestras, including the Orchestre National, Opera, Philharmonique, and many others.

Deffayet began his teaching career in 1948, and was a professor at municipal Conservatories in Paris, the Ecole municipale de musique de Beauvais, and at the Conservatoire du Mans. For many years he taught beside Allard Mayor, who created the Conservatory of the 10th arrondissement, the first of the municipal Conservatories in Paris. Tuition was free, with teaching provided by benevolent professors, to provide a larger access for students to music; some students have thus been able to enter the Paris Conservatory*.


When Mule retired in 1968 after 25 years of teaching, Deffayet succeeded him and continued the spirit of the French saxophone school. He remained there over 20 years, and was appointed Honorary Professor of the Paris Conservatory*.


In 1953, the year he debuted as a soloist, playing Ibert’s Concertino da Camera, he formed the Quatuor de saxophones Daniel Deffayet. The quartet performed numerous concerts in France, and important tours have taken the group to England, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, the United States, Japan, and Korea, until 1988, when the group disbanded.


Since that time, Deffayet has collaborated with Leduc publishing house, transcribing various works for saxophone. Deffayet and Vandoren have had a relationship since Deffayet was 21, when the company was managed by Robert Vandoren.


Deffayet continues teaching masterclasses around the world in the French tradition established by Marcel Mule.


*C.N.S.M. – Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris




Ibert: Concertino da Camera (Epic)
Woodwind Music: Gallois-Montbrun, Glazunov (Musical Heritage Society)
Double Concerto (RTF-Barclay)
Debussy: Rapsodie (ERATO)
Daniel Deffayet, Alto Saxophone: Boutry, Gallois-Montbrun, Rueff (Crest)
George Bizet: L’Arlesienne Suites 1 & 2 (Deutsche Grammophon)
Oeuvres de P.M. Dubois, Challan, Planel (EMI)
Le Quatuor de Saxophones Deffayet Rueff, Tisné, Pascal (CBS Sony)
Quatuors de Saxophones: Desenclos, Pierné, Rivier, Schmitt (EMI)
L’ Art suprême du Quatuor de Saxophones (CBS/Sony)
Piéces Classiques, Célébres: arr. by M. Mule (London)
Le Quatuor de Saxophones Deffayet: Glazunov, Feld, Schmitt (Crest)

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