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Auric, Georges

les paris composers french

Auric, Georges, notable French composer; b. Lodève, Hérault, Feb. 15, 1899; d. Paris, July 23, 1983. He first studied music at the Montpellier Cons., then went to Paris, where he was a student of Caussade at the Cons, and of d’Indy and Roussel at the Schola Cantorum. While still in his early youth (1911–15), he wrote something like 300 songs and piano pieces. At 18, he composed a ballet, Les Noces de Gamache . At 20, he completed a comic opera, La Reine de coeur, however, he was dissatisfied with this early effort and destroyed the MS. In the aftermath of continental disillusion following World War I, he became a proponent of the anti-Romantic movement in France, with the apostles of this age of disenchantment, Erik Satie and Jean Cocteau, preaching the new values of urban culture, with modern America as a model. Satie urged young composers to produce “auditory pleasure without demanding disproportionate attention from the listener,” while Cocteau elevated artistic ugliness to an aesthetic ideal. Under Satie’s aegis, Auric joined several French composers of his generation in a group described as Les Nouveaux Jeunes, which later became known as Les Six (the other 5 were Milhaud, Honegger, Poulenc, Durey, and Tailleferre). Auric soon established an important connection with the impresario Serge Diaghilev, who commissioned him to write a number of ballets for his Paris company. Auric’s facile yet felicitous manner of composing, with mock-Romantic connotations, fit perfectly into Diaghilev’s scheme; particularly successful were Auric’s early ballets, Les Fâcheux (1924) and Les Matelots (1925). He also wrote music for films, of which Á nous la liberté (1932) achieved popular success as a symphonic suite. From 1954 to 1977 he served as president of the French Union of Composers and Authors. He served as general administrator of both the Opéra and the Opéra-Comique in Paris from 1962 to 1968. In 1962 he was elected to membership of the Académie des Beaux-Arts.

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