born Sept. 4, 1892, Aix-en-Provence, Francedied June 22, 1974, Geneva, Switz.French composer.Milhaud studied at the Paris Conservatoire, then at the Schola Cantorum with Vincent d'Indy. He became known as one of Les Six, a group of young French composers. His music is characterized by polytonality (simultaneous use of different keys), as in Saudades do Brazil (1921); though dissonant, his compositions retain a lyrical quality. The influence of jazz is audible in his best-known work, the ballet The Creation of the World (1923). He wrote many ballets, operas, and film scores in the 1920s, culminating in the grand opera Christophe Colomb (1928). Milhaud had a longtime association with the Aspen Music Festival, which he helped found in 1949.
* * *▪ French composerborn Sept. 4, 1892, Aix-en-Provence, Francedied June 22, 1974, Geneva, Switz.a principal French composer of the 20th century known especially for his development of polytonality (simultaneous use of different keys).Born of a Provençal Jewish family, Milhaud studied under Paul Dukas (Dukas, Paul) and Vincent d'Indy (Indy, Vincent d') at the Paris Conservatory. He was grouped by the critic Henri Collet with the young composers whom Collet called Les Six (Six, Les). In 1940 he became professor at Mills College, Oakland, Calif. After 1947 he taught at the Paris Conservatory. In his later years he suffered from crippling arthritis, but he continued to compose and conduct.Milhaud's bold, individual style is especially exemplified in the ballets L'Homme et son désir (1918; Man and His Desire; scenario, Paul Claudel (Claudel, Paul)), Le Boeuf sur le toit (1919; The Nothing-Doing Bar; scenario, Jean Cocteau (Cocteau, Jean)), and La Création du monde (1923; The Creation of the World; scenario, Blaise Cendrars (Cendrars, Blaise)). He composed the incidental music for Claudel's Protée (1920) and for Claudel's translations of the Aeschylean tragedies Agamemnon (1913), Choéphores (1915), and Les Euménides (1917–22). Whips and hammers are introduced into the orchestration of this trilogy, a work of great dramatic force, in which the chorus is required to groan, whistle, and shriek. His other operas include Christophe Colomb (1930; text by Claudel); Le Pauvre Matelot (1926; The Poor Sailor; text by Cocteau), David (1954), and Médée (1939).From about 1913, Milhaud's music is characterized by his use of bitonality and polychords. He was the first to analyze (though not the first to use) polytonality and to develop that technique consistently. An example of his use of polytonality is Saudades do Brasil (1921), a set of dance suites. His style became simplified in later years, but its harmonic basis remained mostly polytonal. The effect of his polytonality is that of simultaneous movement of different planes of sound. Although dissonant, his music retains a lyrical quality.A prolific composer, Milhaud wrote more than 400 works, including radio and motion-picture scores, a setting of the Jewish Sabbath Morning Service (1947), symphonies (eight for large orchestra, five for small orchestra), choral works, and the two-piano suite Scaramouche (1936; later arranged for saxophone or clarinet and orchestra). His chamber music includes a suite for violin, clarinet, and piano (1936), and 18 string quartets (1912–50). Among his songs are settings of poems by Claudel, Christina Rossetti (Rossetti, Christina), and Stéphane Mallarmé (Mallarmé, Stéphane). He wrote an autobiography, My Happy Life (1995, trans. by Donald Evans).Additional ReadingJeremy Drake, The Operas of Darius Milhaud (1989); Paul Collaer, Darius Milhaud, new ed., rev. and augmented (1988; originally published in French, 1947); Roger Nichols, Conversations with Madeleine Milhaud (1996); Nancy Lynn Perloff, Art and the Everyday: Popular Entertainment and the Circle of Erik Satie (1991).
* * *
Look at other dictionaries:
MILHAUD, DARIUS — (1892–1974), French composer. Milhaud was born in Aix en Provence and was descended from an old Jewish family that claimed to have been among the first settlers in southern France after the fall of Jerusalem. He entered the Paris Conservatory at… … Encyclopedia of Judaism
Milhaud, Darius — (1892 1974) composer Born in Aix en Provence, where he was descended from an old Jewish family, Milhaud studied under a number of noted music professors, and his earliest inclinations were toward the music of claude debussy, Russian music,… … France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present
Milhaud, Darius — ► (1892 1974) Compositor francés. Formó parte del Grupo de los seis. A través de la superposición melódica y armónica, crea un estilo politonal. Obras: La creación del mundo (1922) (ballet) y Cristóbal Colón (1928) (ópera), entre otras. * * * (4… … Enciclopedia Universal
Milhaud, Darius — (4 September 1892, Aix en Provence, France – 22 June 1974, Geneva) A prolific composer of secular works, Milhaud nevertheless wrote some works exhibiting his Jewish heritage, in particular: Poèmes Juifs (1916), Liturgie Comtadine (1933), and… … Historical dictionary of sacred music
Milhaud, Darius — (1891–1974) French composer. Dividing his time between France and the United States, Milhaud was a prolific composer, writing music for operas, orchestral concerts, songs, films and ballet. His biblical opera David was composed for the… … Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament
Milhaud,Darius — Mil·haud (mē yōʹ), Darius. 1892 1974. French composer who experimented with polytonality and jazz styles. His works include the opera The Lost Sheep (1910) and the ballet Moïse (1940). * * * … Universalium
Milhaud, Darius — (1892 1974) French composer. He was born in Aix en Provence. He served as secretary to the French minister in Brazil in 1917 18. After returning to Paris, he wrote a wide variety of musical compositions including David, Service sacre, Poemes… … Dictionary of Jewish Biography
Milhaud — Milhaud, Darius … Enciclopedia Universal
Darius Milhaud — ( 1926), Paris Darius Milhaud (French pronunciation: [daʁjys mijo]; 4 September 1892 – 22 June 1974) was a French composer and teacher. He was a member of Les Six also known as The Group of Six and one of the most prolific composers of the… … Wikipedia
Milhaud — (Darius) (1892 1974) compositeur français: le Boeuf sur le toit (1919), la Création du monde (1923), ballets … Encyclopédie Universelle