Jacques (François Antoine) Ibert


Jacques Ibert was born in Paris, and his studies at the Conservatoire there were markedly successful.  In 1919, after his conscription during the First World War, he received the Prix de Rome for his cantata Le poète et la fèe.  A strict composer, he allowed himself few liberties while writing, a process seemingly at odds with the frequently carefree mood of his works.  The variety of influences and media Ibert adopted make it difficult to sum up his work, although a leaning towards drama (if not always the dramatic) is a consistent theme - like Richard Wagner Ibert believed in working towards an amalgamation of many artforms, but unlike Wagner he did not envisage this necessarily culminating in works of great profundity.  His works range from Le roi d'Yvetot (1928), an opéra-comique, to the bleak orchestral work La ballade de la geôle de Reading (1920), based on Oscar Wilde's poem.

Ibert travelled widely before his appointment as head of the Académie de France in Rome in 1937.  He held the post until 1960 when he returned to Paris, dying in 1962. 

Related composers: Erik Satie, Igor Stravinsky, Arthur Honegger

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