A French composer born in Monaco in 1966, Yan Maresz began his musical studies on piano and percussion at the Monte Carlo Music Academy. Very early on he discovered jazz and taught himself the guitar. In 1983 he started to study the guitar with John McLaughlin. He was his sole pupil and, from 1989, was his principal orchestrator and arranger. He studied jazz at the Berklee College of Music in Boston from 1984 to 1986 and gradually concentrated on composition.
In 1986 he obtained a bursary from the Princess Grace of Monaco Foundation and entered the composition class at the Juilliard School in New York where he completed his diploma with David Diamond in 1992. In parallel to composition he continued his activities for a while in the world of jazz, notably working as arranger and guitarist with John McLaughlin on his discs The Promise, Time Remembered and Thieves & Poets. In 1993 he settled in Paris and followed the composition and computer music course at IRCAM where he studied with Tristan Murail.
He has won various prizes and awards, including second prize in the composition competition of the City of Trieste in 1991 and the Prix Rossini of the Académie des Beaux Arts in 1994, in which year he was also a finalist for the Prince Pierre de Monaco Composition Prize and the Gaudeamus Prize (Amsterdam). In 1995 Sacem awarded him the Prix Hervé Dugardin and his work Metallics was nominated for the International Rostrum of Composers in UNESCO.
From 1995 to 1997 he was in residence at the Académie de France in Rome, in the Villa Medici, and in 2004 he was granted a residency in the European College of Arts in Berlin. In 2003 and 2004 he was composer in residence at the Strasburg Regional Conservatory and in 2004-2005 he was visiting professor at McGill University in Montreal.
In 2006, he received the Sacem Award for Young Composers. Yan Maresz has received commissions from the French government, the Orchestre de Paris, Radio France, the Festival International d’Art Lyrique in Aix en Provence, the Ensemble Intercontemporain, IRCAM, the Auditorium du Louvre, the Festival Piano aux Jacobins, the Musica festival, the Ballets de Monte Carlo, the chamber choir Accentus and the Percussions de Strasbourg.
His works are regularly played in both France and abroad by many ensembles and at leading international festivals. He frequently gives masterclasses in Europe and particularly at IRCAM where he is researching orchestration and is often in demand as a lecturer. He currently teaches composition for composition and computer music students at IRCAM.