18 Facts About Darius Milhaud


Darius Milhaud was a French composer, conductor, and teacher.


Darius Milhaud's compositions are influenced by jazz and Brazilian music and make extensive use of polytonality.


Darius Milhaud began as a violinist, later turning to composition instead.


Darius Milhaud studied in Paris at the Paris Conservatory where he met his fellow group members Arthur Honegger and Germaine Tailleferre.


Darius Milhaud studied composition under Charles Widor and harmony and counterpoint with Andre Gedalge.


From 1917 to 1919, he served as secretary to Paul Claudel, the eminent poet and dramatist who was then the French ambassador to Brazil, and with whom Darius Milhaud collaborated for many years, setting music for many of Claudel's poems and plays.


On his return to France, Darius Milhaud composed works influenced by the Brazilian popular music he had heard, including compositions of Brazilian pianist and composer Ernesto Nazareth.

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Darius Milhaud produced Saudades do Brasil, a suite of twelve dances evoking twelve neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro.


Darius Milhaud dedicated his Fifth String Quartet to Arnold Schoenberg, and the following year conducted both the French and British premieres of Pierrot lunaire after multiple rehearsals.


In 1925, Darius Milhaud married his cousin, Madeleine, an actress and reciter.


In 1930 she gave birth to a son, the painter and sculptor Daniel Darius Milhaud, who was the couple's only child.


Darius Milhaud secured a teaching post at Mills College in Oakland, California, where he composed the opera Bolivar and collaborated with Henri Temianka and the Paganini Quartet.


In 1947 Darius Milhaud was among the founders of the Music Academy of the West summer conservatory, where popular songwriter Burt Bacharach was among his students.


Darius Milhaud taught on the faculty of the Aspen Music Festival and School.


Darius Milhaud died in Geneva at the age of 81, and he was buried in the Saint-Pierre Cemetery in Aix-en-Provence.


Darius Milhaud was very prolific and composed for a wide range of genres.


Darius Milhaud was an extremely rapid creator, for whom the art of writing music seemed almost as natural as breathing.


Darius Milhaud's autobiography is titled Notes sans musique, later revised as Ma vie heureuse.