Claude Debussy

Claude Debussy

Claude Debussy


Claude Debussy, also known as Achille-Claude Debussy, was a very famous French composer in the late 1800’s and throughout the 20th century (“born August 22,1862 Saint Germain en-Layer-France- died March 25, 1918”). Debussy, considered to be an impressionist, is also seen as “the founder and leading exponent of musical Impressionism” due to his non traditional scales and tonal structures which he incorporated into his compositions.

At the age of nine, Debussy began his musical career when he picked up playing the piano. He showed pure talent even at a young age. By the age of 11 he joined the Paris Conservatory where he studied the piano in greater depths expanding his knowledge and talent immensely. Eventually at the age of 22 he won the Grand Prix de Rome with his composition “Cantana L’Enfant Prodigue.” This piece consists of a variety of instruments including strings, woodwind and percussion, even though most of his famous pieces are solo piano compositions. Following his achievement he was granted a “3 year stay” at the Villa Medici in Rome in order to further his knowledge in the world of music. He shortly moved back to his hometown where he eventually got married to Rosalie (“Lily”) Texier in 1899.

Some of his biggest influences were Richard Wagner and the Russian Composer Aleksandr Borodin. These writers helped Debussy channel his emotions and release them through his music. Many of his piano works are slow, gentle pieces which set a sort of romantic stage.

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