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Erik Alfred Leslie Satie (Composer)

Born: 17th May 1866, Honfleur, France

Died: 1st July 1925, Arcueil, France

Nationality: French

Éric Alfred Leslie Satie who signed his name Erik Satie after 1884, was a French composer and pianist. Satie was an influential artist in the late 19th- and early 20th-century Parisian avant-garde. His work was a precursor to later artistic movements such as minimalism, repetitive music, and the Theatre of the Absurd.

An eccentric, Satie was introduced as a "gymnopedist" in 1887, shortly before writing his most famous compositions, the Gymnopédies. Later, he also referred to himself as a "phonometrician" (meaning "someone who measures sounds"), preferring this designation to that of "musician", after having been called "a clumsy but subtle technician" in a book on contemporary French composers published in 1911.

In addition to his body of music, Satie left a set of writings, having contributed work for a range of publications from the dadaist 391 to the American culture chronicle Vanity Fair. Although in later life he prided himself on publishing his work under his own name, in the late 19th century he appears to have used pseudonyms such as Virginie Lebeau and François de Paule in some of his published writings.

Further Reading: Satie

 Recording of the Week, Piano and Vocal music by Erik Satie

James listens to a double helping of works by Satie, whose 150th anniversary falls this year.

Popular Works: Satie

Recent Best Sellers: Satie

Labyrinth
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Emotions
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Hope@Home
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Satie: Socrate
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Satie: Vexations, Vol. 3
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