Gilles Raynal first studied at the Conservatoire de musique de Clermont-Ferrand, where he received the gold medal for each discipline: writing, composing and conducting.
In 1981, he was accepted at the École Normale de Paris where he received a first prize for fugue in Ginette Keller’s class. Gilles also studied composition with Max Deutsch and conducting with Alexander Myrat for two years. After Max Deutsch’s death, he joined the composition class of Michel Philippot at Paris CNSM.
His first work, Quatuor à cordes N°1 with soprano and narrator, was played at Salle Cortot in Paris in June 1982 and that decided of his career as a composer. With Daniel Meier and Jean-Pierre Billet, he created the « Musique d’Aujourd’hui » association in Clermont-Ferrand which would be the foundation for the « Musiques Démuserées » Festival.
In 1984, he creates the Orchestre Symphonique des Dômes in order to bring together the music teachers of all the Auvergne. Gilles Raynal has conducted more then six hundred concerts with the OSD.
In 1985, he is accepted in Franco Donatoni’s class at the Milano Académie Internationale Supérieure de Musique, where he writes and conducts works of the contemporary repertoire. His Quatuor à cordes N°3 is created at the Académie Internationale, on 30th June 1986 at Biella, in Italy.
Back to the Auvergne in 1987, he becomes full professor for writing and composing classes at the Conservatoire de Musique de Cournon d’Auvergne where he has been teaching more than a hundred students. He is also the Artistic Director for La Semaine d’Art Contemporain from 1987 to 1992 and for Les Ateliers Concerts, a musical ensemble for research and creation.
For the past thirty years, the Orchestre d’Auvergne has been the main regional partner, performing several of Gilles Raynal’s works. Patience dans l’Azur (1991) concerto for cello and orchestra, A sacris (1994) for solo violin et strings, Collection (2002) study for strings, Metacristin (2005) and Passé Composé (2006) for the 25h Anniversary of the Orchestra. In 2004, his work entitled Collection pour cordes is performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
Gilles Raynal has received many international prizes for composition: MC2 Avignon (1984), Satcar (1989), Roquebrune Ananké (1991), Lugano (1993), Metz I.E.C. (2000)…etc. His music catalogue includes about sixty works, from chamber to symphonic music. In 2007, he has been awarded the Prix Mège for his career by the Académie des Sciences, Belles-Lettres et Arts de Clermont-Ferrand.