André Jolivet had a lively interest in all the arts as a child - his mother was a musician, his father an artist. Undertook composition studies with classicist Paul Le Flem and iconoclast Edgard Varése who introduced him to the music of Schoenberg, Berg and Bartók. In 1936 formed the group Jeune France with his friends Olivier Messiaen, Daniel-Lesur and Yves Baudrier, aiming to re-humanize modern music away from abstraction. Early successes include the piano pieces Mana and Cinq Incantations for solo flute. After war combined composition with musical directorship of the Comédie Française (1945-59). The 1950s and 1960s were dominated by series of virtuoso concertos. His output ranges from opera and ballet to orchestral and instrumental works. Compositions show particular interest in instruments with a special role in primitive music, such as flute and percussion.