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TROUBADISC composers

Darius Milhaud


"I want to write eighteen quartets."  Darius Milhaud, 1920

1892 Born on 4 September 1892 in Aix-en-Provence
1909 Philosophy exam, moves to Paris, founds his own string quartet Attends the Paris Conservatory; composition: Charles-M. Widor, conducting: Paul Dukas
1911 Beginning of his friendship with fellow student Arthur Honegger Composition of first genuine piece: 1st Violin Sonata op. 3
1913 Makes the acquaintance of poet Paul Claudel, beginning of a friendship and collaboration lasting for decades, participates at the premiere of Stravinsky's "le Sacre du Printemps"
1917 Travels by ship with Paul Claudel to Rio de Janeiro, where he works as an embassy secretary
1918 Returns to Paris, joins the group of musicians known as the "Nouveaux Jeunes" led by Satie
1919 Participates in the first concert with "Les Six", the group of Paris composers
1922 First trip to the US, first contact with American jazz in Harlem Contact with Alma Mahler and Arnold Schönberg in Vienna
1925 Marries actress Madeleine Milhaud (honeymoon in Syria)
1926 Trip to Russia, concerts with pianist Jean Wiéner in Leningrad and Moscow, meeting with Shostakovitsh
1932 Invited by Paul Hindemith to Baden-Baden for the premiere of the Opéra-Minute "L’Enlèvement d’Europe"
1938 Appears as conductor in the festival concerts of "pro Musica" in Brussels
1940 Emigrates to the US, teaches composition at Mills Collage in Oakland
1947 Finishes the "opera americana" begun in 1940 (64 compositions), returns to France, begins teaching composition at the Paris Conservatory
1950 Begins his composition courses at the Aspen Summer Festival
1951 Composition of the 18th (and last) string quartet op. 308 in the US
1962 Participates as conductor of his works at the "Musica Viva" (Karl Amadeus Hartmann) in Munich
1966 Conducts during the "Prague Spring" (premiere of the "Musique pour Prague")
1971 Quits teaching in the US and Paris, settles in Geneva
1972 Last vocal composition: "Ani Maamin. Un Chant perdu et retrouvé" (Cantata to a Text, by Elie Wiesel) op. 441
1973 Last instrumental composition: Wind Quintet op. 443
1974 Dies on 22 June in Geneva

"Not a single critic understood what had actually moved me to compose these works (Machines agricoles), or that were written in the same spirit in which former composers had celebrated harvest time, grapegathering or the 'Jolly Farmer', in the same spirit in which Honegger had glorified the locomotive and Fernand Léger the world of machines. Whoever wished to illustrate my tendency towards irony and eccentricity quoted the 'Machines agricoles.' I have never managed to discover what makes reasonable people think an artist would spend his time on fooling a few people, when the creative process is tied to so much pain."      Darius Milhaud

book tips

Darius Milhaud:
"Notes without music: An autobiography." 
Prestel Verlag, München, 1962.

"Ma vie heureuse."  (My happy life)
Paris, 1973.

Hilde Malcomess:
"Die opéras minute von Darius Milhaud."
ORPHEUS Verlag, Bonn. 

LAST Change: Friedemann Kupsa
(28.01.2015 - 20:17 Uhr)

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Darius Milhaud 




"Les Six", 1931