Florent Schmitt

1870 - 1958

French

Biography

French composer Florent Schmitt was born on Septmeber 28th 1870 in Meuthe-et-Moselle. His first music lessons took place in Nancy with the local composer Gustave Sandré. Following this, aged 19 Schmitt studied at Paris Conservatory with Gabriel Fauré, Jules Massenet, Théodore Dubois and Albert Lavignac. He went on to win the Prix de Rom in 1900. Between 1929 and 1939 he worked as a music critic for Le Temps causing substantial controversy, particularly for shouting out his verdicts whilst the concert was still taking place. He passed away aged 87 in Neuilly-sur-Seine on August 17th 1958.

Although Schmitt was one of the most regularly performed French composers in the first forty years of the twentieth century, he has since fallen out of favour somewhat. He was victim to some attacks publically in his later years and posthumously because of his sympathies towards the actions of the Nazi party in the early 1930s and over his willingness to work for the occupying German regime during the early 1940s. Since the early 1990s however, his works have seen something of a revival, being seen for their own artistic merit.