Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary Composer Biographies
October 1, 1865 in Paris, France
May 17, 1935 in Paris France
L'Apprenti Sorcier (The Sorcerer's Apprentice)
Ariane et Barbe-bleu (Ariadne and Bluebeard)
Symphony in C major
Gazette des Beaux-Arts
Dukas began composing at age 14 while he was ill. His interest in music continued after the illness had past, so his family decided to let him pursue this vocation. He began his formal musical studies at age 16 at the Paris Conservatoire. He attempted the Prix de Rome several times, and managed to make the “short list” in 1865 and again in 1888, but was never satisfied with these showings. After the time he spent at the Conservatoire he switched his focus to musical criticism and orchestration. Dukas was a strict perfectionist. Thus, 1920s, he destroyed much of his work and allowed only a small number of his compositions to be published. He was still an influential and respected teacher. He was a friend of Debussy's and developed some of Debussy's techniques in his works. Dukas’ most famous work, L’Apprenti Sorcier (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) took its place in popular culture when Walt Disney immortalized the work in animated feature Fantasia.