Born into a musical family – his father was Director of the Conservatoire of Le Mans, and his mother a singing teacher – Françaix took up composing at the age of six and showed promise even at this early age. On the strength of his first published work – at the age of just 9 – he was encouraged to pursue formal studies, and by his mid-twenties had written a several concertos, numerous chamber pieces and half a dozen ballets.
Françaix remained a prolific composer throughout his life, with his light, witty style attractive to both performers and listeners. He was also an accomplished pianist, performing many of his own works and those of his contemporaries; including, notably, a Two Piano Concerto together with its composer, Francis Poulenc.
Dixtuor was commissioned by The Linos Ensemble – a chamber music group comprising players from German universities and orchestras – who premiered the work in 1987. Françaix effortlessly balances the two quintets that comprise the ensemble in writing that is as assured as it is varied; articulate and convincing writing from a composer confident in his craft.