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Hector Berlioz

Hector Berlioz

French romantic composer

Louis-Hector Berlioz[n 1] (11 December 1803 – 8 March 1869) was a French Romantic composer and conductor. His output includes orchestral works such as the Symphonie fantastique and Harold in Italy, choral pieces including the Requiem and L'Enfance du Christ, his three operas Benvenuto Cellini, Les Troyens and Béatrice et Bénédict, and works of hybrid genres such as the "dramatic symphony" Roméo et Juliette and the "dramatic legend" La Damnation de Faust.

The elder son of a provincial doctor, Berlioz was expected to follow his father into medicine, and he attended a Parisian medical college before defying his family by taking up music as a profession. His independence of mind and refusal to follow traditional rules and formulas put him at odds with the conservative musical establishment of Paris. He briefly moderated his style sufficiently to win France's premier music prize – the Prix de Rome – in 1830, but he learned little from the academics of the Paris Conservatoire. Opinion was divided for many years between those who thought him an original genius and those who viewed his music as lacking in form and coherence.

At the age of twenty-four Berlioz fell in love with the Irish Shakespearean actress Harriet Smithson, and he pursued her obsessively until she finally accepted him seven years later. Their marriage was happy at first but eventually foundered. Harriet inspired his first major success, the Symphonie fantastique, in which an idealised depiction of her occurs throughout.

Timeline

December 11, 1803
Hector Berlioz was born in La Côte-Saint-André.

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March 5, 2019
WebWire
Today Lisa Batiashvili presented the program of this year's Audi Summer Concerts in Ingolstadt. Under the motto "Fantastique!", Batiashvili, the new artistic director of this festival, announced concerts that range from Hector Berlioz to Walt Disney and feature appearances by artists including Alfred Brendel, Gidon Kremer, Mariss Jansons, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Nino Machaidze, Gautier Capuçon, and the German Chamber Philharmonia from Bremen with Paavo J...
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