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Classical Composers A-Z: Jules Massanet

Peter Wintersgill introduces us to Jules Massanet, composer of operas and Professor of Composition at the Conservatoire in Paris.

Born
12th May, 1842, in Moutaud, St. Etienne.

Childhood
Entered Paris Conservatoire at 11, studied with Laurent.

Adolescence
Won Prix de Rome in 1863 at 21.

Adult Life
Met Liszt in Rome and through him Constance de Sainte - Marie, who was to become his pupil and later his wife. They married in 1866.

His first two operas were successful, Le Roi de Lahore (1877) and Herodiade (1881). He was a hard-working composer who knew what the public wanted.

He became Professor of Composition at the Conservatoire in 1887.

Later successes were Don Quichotte (1910) with Chaliapin in the title role, and Roma (1912). His 20th Century style has been very much admired.

He died on 13th August, 1912, in Paris, aged 70.

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