Claude Debussy

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About Claude Debussy

The principal figurehead of French Impressionism -- a term he disliked -- Claude Debussy changed the language of European music through works such as his symphonic poems Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune (1894), La mer (1905), the opera Pelléas et Mélisande (1903), and piano sets such as Images (1907). "Clair de lune" from Suite bergamasque (1890) remains his most famous work, yet his sense of harmonic color -- inspired by Indonesian and Russian music -- helped usher in the modern era. Intensely competitive and sometimes unkind to those around him, Debussy's personal life was often tragic, and ultimately short.

Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France
August 22, 1862