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Georges Auric
“Down with impressionism and all those beautiful sonorities” Georges Auric (1899-1983), born on 15 February 1899 in Lodève, France, was famously included in the group called Les Six by critic Henri Collet in 1920. As a composer, he is probably
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Francis Poulenc
“I simply follow my own feelings” Among the most original and sincere voices of the 20th century, Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) was no revolutionary as his music and personality simply mirror the often-conflicting nature of humanity. Simultaneously earthy and refined, an
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Paul Hindemith
“People Who Make Music Together Cannot Be Enemies” Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) unexpectedly died on 28 December 1963 in Frankfurt. And while the general public mourned the loss of a highly respected musician, he had lost all influence on the next
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George Gershwin
George Gershwin’s Song-Book George Gershwin, born on 26 September 1898, developed a distinctive musical style that combined classical, jazz, and popular music in a ground-breaking fusion unique to American music. Renowned for his remarkable dexterity as a songwriter, he literally
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Alfred Schnittke
“I set down a beautiful chord on paper—and suddenly it rusts” The music of Alfred Schnittke (1934-1998) is marked by an intense expressiveness, an unpredictable flow of ideas, an innate sense of drama, and a natural lyricism. Turning his back
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György Ligeti
“I am in a prison: One wall is the avant-garde, the other is the past, and I want to escape” 100 years ago, on 28 May 1923, the Hungarian composer György Ligeti (1923-2006) was born in the little Transylvanian town
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Elliott Carter
“My musical life started with hearing contemporary music” The American composer Elliott Carter (1908-2012) blended the “achievements of European modernism and American ultra-modernism into a unique style of surging rhythmic vitality, intense dramatic contrast, and innovative fracture.” Glowing accolades aside,
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Jean Françaix
“My music exists to give pleasure” The son of the former director of the Conservatory of Le Mans, Jean Françaix (1912-1997) was a prodigious musical talent. He received his early musical instructions from his father and composed his first piano
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