Philippe Boesmans (°1936) initially studied piano in Liège. He is a self-taught composer. Boesmans wrote his first pieces in the 1960s. They are strongly influenced by serialism through the work of Berio, Boulez, Pousseur and Stockhausen. Soon, however, he develops a highly personal musical language. As from 1962 he works at the Centre de recherches musicales de Wallonie, today Centre Henri Pousseur. Also in 1962 he starts working as a producer at the RTBf, the French-speaking community's radio and television station. From 1985 until 2007, Boesmans is composer-in-residence at La Monnaie, where first Gerard Mortier and later Bernard Foccroulle commission numerous compositions.
Boesmans' works, having been performed at the most important festivals in Belgium and abroad, have received numerous awards. In 2000, Boesmans received the Prix International Arthur Honegger for his complete oeuvre and in 2004 the Prix Musique of the SACD, the Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques.