Jean Françaix

French Born 23 May 1912 Died 25 Sep 1997

The son of two noted Le Mans musicians, Jean Françaix studied at the Paris Conservatoire under Nadia Boulanger.  His Concertino (1932) is redolent of the music of Les Six - urbane, exuberant and to the point, it set the tone for much of the rest of Françaix's work.  After a string of witty chamber works, he produced the oratorio L'apocalypse de St Jean (1939), a work whose apposite gravitas is perhaps lightened by an orchestration of hell utilising accordions and mandolins.  A brilliant piano virtuoso, he toured frequently, performing on occasion with his daughter Claude.

Related composers: Francis Poulenc, Darius Milhaud, Igor Stravinsky

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