Éliane Radigue was born in Paris, France. She studied electroacoustic music techniques at the Studio d’essai at the RTF, under the direction of Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry (1957−1958). In 1967−1968 she worked again with Pierre Henry, as his assistant at the Studio Apsome.
Her music, its source an Arp synthesizer and medium recording tape, attracted considerable attention for its sensitive, dappled purity. She was in residence at the electronic music studios of the University of Iowa and California Institute of the Arts in 1973.
Becoming a Tibetan Buddhist in 1975, Radigue went into retreat, and stopped composing for a time. When she took up her career again in 1979, she continued to work with the Arp synthesizer which has become her signature. She composed “Triptych” for the Ballet Théâtre de Nancy (choreography by Douglas Dunn), “Adnos II” & “Adnos III”, and began the large-scale cycle of works based on the life of the Tibetan master, Milarepa.
In 1984 Radigue received a “bourse à la creation” from the French Government to compose “Songs of Milarepa”, and a “Commande de l’état” in 1986 for the continuation of the Milarepa cycle with “Jetsun Mila”.
Notoriously slow and painstaking in her work, Radigue has produced in the last decade or so on average one major work every three years. Very recently, in response to the demands of musicians worldwide, she has begun creating works for specific performers and instruments together with electronics. The first of these was for bass player Kaspar Toeplitz, and more recently the American cellist Charles Curtis.
Performances of her music have taken place at galleries and museums the USA and in Europe.
Radigue currently lives in France, where she continues to compose electronic music and study the teachings of the Tibetan lamas. She returns to the United States periodically to present programmes of her electronic works.
As of February 2015