1st October 1865
17th May 1935
Paul Abraham Dukas was a French composer, critic, scholar and teacher. A studious man, of retiring personality, he was intensely self-critical, and he abandoned and destroyed many of his compositions. His best known work is the orchestral piece, L'apprenti sorcier (The Sorcerer's Apprentice), the fame of which has eclipsed that of his other surviving works. Among these are an opera Ariane et Barbe-bleue (Ariadne and Bluebeard), a symphony, two substantial works for solo piano, and a ballet, La Péri. At a time when French musicians were divided into conservative and progressive factions, Dukas adhered to neither but retained the admiration of both. His compositions were influenced by composers including Beethoven, Berlioz, Franck, d'Indy and Debussy.