Hector Berlioz


Composer, critic, and conductor.[J92]
French musical composer. Rejecting the profession of medicine, he entered the Paris Conservatoire, where his genius was but little recognised. He was repeatedly unsuccessful in examination, but latterly took prizes for composition[H46] (Prix de Rome, 1830).[J92] While still a student he produced Les Francs Juges, and La Symphonie Fantastique. After studying in Rome, he earned a living in Paris as musical critic to the Journal des Débats. He introduced his compositions to the public in a series of concerts, but they were little appreciated, though Paganini was so affected La Symphonie Fantastique that he sent Berlioz a draft for 20,000 francs. A marriage with a Miss Smithson, an English actress, caused Berlioz much unhappiness, and greatly straitened his resources. A tour in Germany and Russia secured his reputation, his compositions being enthusiastically received; and in 1852 he came to London, where he met with the greatest success. Berlioz wrote his own Memoirs.[H46]

Place of birth: La Côte-Saint-André[J92]
Place of death: Paris[J92]



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