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Hector Berlioz

Hector Berlioz (1803-69)


Born near Grenoble in 1803, Berlioz was the son of a doctor and began medical studies himself but against his father's wishes he enrolled at the Paris Conservatoire and was drawn to the Romantic movement which, in Paris, was represented by the authors Dumas (fils) and Hugo, and by the painter Delacroix. During his student years, he became obsessed with winning the Conservatoire's Prix de Rome, eventually succeeding on his fifth attempt in 1830; the same year also saw the composition of his best-known work, the Symphonie Fantastique, which was inspired by his unrequited obsession with the Irish actress Harriet Smithson.

Further Reading: Berlioz

 Video Interview, John Nelson on Berlioz

Ahead of his performance and recording of the Grande Messe des Morts at St Paul's Cathedral tomorrow evening to mark the 150th anniversary of the composer's death, the American conductor talks to Katherine about his fifty-year relationship with music which 'lit something up in me that's remained all my life'.

 Recording of the Week, Berlioz from François-Xavier Roth and Les Siècles

Tabea Zimmermann and Stéphane Degout are the soloists in period-instrument performances of Harold en Italie & Les nuits d'été.

Popular Works: Berlioz

Recent Best Sellers: Berlioz

Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique
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