Paul-Antoine Vidal

1863 - 1931



Born in Toulouse on June 16th 1863, Frenchman Paul Vidal was a music teacher, conductor and composer. He studied at the conservatory in Toulouse before enrolling at the Paris Conservatory and studying with Jules Massenet. In 1883 he won the Prix de Rome, the year before Claude Debussy. On January 8th 1886 Vidal and Debussy performed Liszt’s Faust Symphony on two pianos for Liszt in Rome after a dinner; allegedly, Liszt slept through the performance. 

Vidal conducted at the Paris Opera where he made his debut directing Gwendoline in 1894 before conducting the premieres of Ariane and Roma by Massenet. He and Georges Marty co-founded the Concerts de l’Opera. Between 1914 and 1919, he was music director at Opéra-Comique conducting a range of revivals and premieres of both operas and ballets. He taught at the Paris Conservatory, teaching composition to students including Marc Delmas, Jacques Ibert and Vladimir Fédorov. He passed away in Paris on April 9th 1931, aged 67.