Honegger, Arthur

Honegger, Arthur

biographical name

(born March 10, 1892, Le Havre, France—died Nov. 27, 1955, Paris) French composer. Born to Swiss-French parents, he studied in Zürich, then at the Paris Conservatory. One of the group known as Les Six, though not truly in sympathy with its aims, he first gained international renown for his oratorio Le Roi David (1921). His exciting orchestral piece Pacific 231 (1923), portraying a locomotive, caused a sensation. Prolific throughout his life, he composed five symphonies (including Symphony No. 3 known as Liturgique, for the end of World War II), the oratorio Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher (1938), and numerous scores for ballet, theatre, and films (including Abel Gance's Napoleon).

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