in 1862, Claude
is a French composer. He died 1918, aged 56. After moving several
times with his family, he settled in Cannes with his aunt. After she
discovered the young boy’s natural talent for music, he started
were curtailed by the radical socialists’ Paris Commune
insurrection, for which his father fought on the side of the rebels.
After the latter was arrested, he met the brother-in-law of poet Paul
Verlaine, who arranged to have Claude go and study with his mother.
Claude made swift progress and was accepted into the Paris
Conservatory where he would spend the next 10 years. In 1875, at the
age of 13, he won the second
medal for music theory.
His piano-playing achieved similar results, when he competed in a
contest that included playing a Chopin ballad. Composer Erik Satie
has been quoted as saying that he never knew anyone who could play
better than Debussy! In 1882, he received second prize in Rome with
his cantata The
went on to win first
prize, two years later, with The
While in Rome, Claude met famous artists in the mold of Verdi
He returned to France after two years but was not as successful as he
would have hoped. Throughout his career, Claude Debussy composed 13
works for piano, 5 chamber pieces, 4 symphonies, 2 ballet scores,
plus a whole host of lyrical opuses and various tunes. His most
famous creation is his Clair
de lune for piano.