Born in Huê (Centre of Vietnam) in 1933, Tôn
That Tiet came to Paris in 1958 to study composition at the French
National Conservatory of Music. He attended Jean Rivier and André
Jolivet classes for composition. He was at first drawn to the serial
technique but from 1966 on he turned to another mode of inspiration.
Of André Olivet he said : "As a professor,
he has never tried to influence me, nor push me toward any special
kind of style. Our professor-student relationship was of a spiritual
order. Yet through his suggestion and what Rivier had said, I came
to realize that it was in the oriental way of thinking that I would
find my style in music. I owe to Rivier the language and the shaping
of my music which, as Joliver has said, should be "a mean to
express ideas and not an aim in itself.".