Paul Dukas was a French composer and music critic.
His father was a banker and his mother a pianist. She died during childbirth whilst Dukas was very young. Unlike many composers he wasn’t a child prodigy and didn’t show any musical talent until the age of fourteen whilst recovering from an illness. It was at this time he started to compose.
Career & Compositions
When Dukas was sixteen he was accepted at the Conservatoire de Paris and in later years won Le Grand Prix de Rome twice.
Whilst composing he simultaneously provided regular reviews to several French journals.
Dukas was very self-critical and after 1912, aged forty seven he stopped publishing all but one composition, which was in memory of his close friend Claude Debussy. Prior to his death he destroyed several of his musical manuscripts.
His most famous composition is The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Other famous works that survived were Dukas’s opera Ariane et Barbe-bleue, his Piano Sonata in E-flat minor, his Symphony in C, the Variations, Interlude and Finale on Theme by Rameau (solo piano) and a ballet, La Péri.