Jef Le Penven (1919-1967) was born in Pontivy on November 3, 1919.

He was a composer and conductor. He directed the Orchestra of Brittany from 1940. Especially known for its adaptations of poems “Me ‘zo ganet e-kreiz ar mor” of Yann-Bêr Kalloc’h is one of the pieces which made its success.

It is today taken again by the artists of the Celtic wave like Gilles Servat or Alan Stivell.

He composed pieces of symphonic music such as the “Cantate du Bout du Monde” or the “Symphonie du Morbihan” which made his reputation as a Breton composer. Very close to the composers of his time, he participated in making the traditional background better known through his compositions. Jef Le Penven died in Douarnenez on April 30, 1967.

Jef Le Penven has dedicated his life to Brittany and its music. Everything in his work is related to it: his songs, dances, organ pieces or his symphonic music.


Tir Na Nog, The March of the Bretons

Celtic people

Cantate du Bout du Monde

Morbihan Symphony

Mass in honor of St. Anne

Christmas mass

(1960. Source: cover of the LP "Messe de Noël", Mouez Breiz edition n° 3323)

Six Christmases of Morbihan

Two Breton Tales

Breton Ballets


Lenora Timm, A Modem Breton Political Poet, Anjela Duval A Biography and an Anthology

Studies in French Literature Number 5, Edwin Mellen Press, ISBN 0-88946-570-3, 1990 (anglais)

Over the seasons - Gant ar mareoù-bloaz

(bilingual, French version by Pierre Jakez Hélias), Coop Breizh, 1995

Four pears

(bilingual, French version by Paol Keineg), Editions Mignoned Anjela, 2005