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Paul Dukas

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Paul Dukas


Paul Dukas (October 1865, Paris - 18 May 1935, Paris) was a French composer. He has been consider a glittering ornament of French modern music, and his name has been linked with the revolt of contemporary composer against artistic formalism.

Fom his earliest childhood he showed a singular bent for music. His family was too poor to provide instruction, but he tinkled the keys of a neighbor's piano whenever the chance afforded. He entered the Paris Conservatory in 1882, where his musical appetite, according to his instructors, was enormous. He soon became an outstanding student, for he studied and practiced night and day. Like all young Frenchmen of military age, he had to give up the conservatory for a time for the life of the field and garrison. But he always considered this a valuable period, for he had leisure to study the scores of the classics, page by page, thereby gaining a new insight into composition.

After a stint in the army, Dukas began work on an overture, Polyeucte, his first composition to be performed publicly. But his renown became international with the performance of The Sorcerer's Apprentice. He composed two operas, Le Peri and Ariadne and Blackbeard. The latter, on a text of Maeterlinck, has been described as "second only to Pelleas in French opera of the 20th century."

Works for Winds


  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 181-182.