A pianist by training, Raphaël Cendo performed with a hardcore rap group before institutionalising his training at the École Normale de Musdique and then at the Paris Conservatory (2000-2003). He then completed his apprenticeship, notably with the composition and computer muisc course of Ircam (2005-2006). Influenced by the teaching of Allain Gaussin, Brian Ferneyhough, Fausto Romitelli and Philippe Manoury, but also by spectral musicand by current and traditional music, Raphaël Cendo composes music marked by the æsthetic of sound saturation based on tonecolour.
His research deals with composition from a single material and explores the limits of instrumental capabilities, particularly the limits of speed. His works are played by performers and ensembles of international renown such as the Ensemble Intercontemporain, the Itinéraire, the Orchestre National de France, and at prestigious festivals: Présences, Musica, Donaueschingen and Ars Musica in Brussels. A laureate of the Pierre Cardin Prize of the Académie des Beaux-arts, Cendo was in residence at the Villa Medici in 2009-2010. His works include Scratch data (2002), Action painting (2005), Tract (2007), Introduction aux ténèbres(2009), Furia (2009).
In 2007 Raphaël Cendo was awarded the Prix Espoir of the Francis and Mica Salabert Foundation of for Orchestre Symphonique du Montréal. Since 2008 he teaches composition at Conservatoire de Nanterre. From 2009 to 2011 Raphaël Cendo was resident at the Académie de France in Rome (Villa Médici) and received the Prix Hervé Dugardin of Sacem in 2011.
After 2012 Raphaël Cendo will be composition tutor in Darmstadt for the second time.