Debussy, Claude

1862 - 1918

French composer who was deeply interested in the relation of music to Impressionist painters.

Debussy was educated at the Paris Conservatory, and in 1885 he won the coveted Prix de Rome. Influenced by Chopin, Wagner and Tchaikovski he introduced a new musical vocabulary replacing melodic lines with timber and rhythm. His revolutionary development inspired many other 20th century composers, among them Bartok and Strawinski.

Late in his life, Debussy turned his interests to abstract forms, producing three remarkable sonatas. In these works, Debussy's rich melodic and harmonic language found a new and intriguing expression.