His father was a physician and young Hector was sent to Paris to study medicine as well. Berlioz was horrified by the process of dissection and, to the surprise of his parents, he abandoned his career path in medicine to study music. He then attended the Paris Conservatoire studying opera and composition. Kamien He became identified early on with the French romantic movement.
Life and career[ edit ] — His father gave him basic instruction on the flageoletand he later took flute and guitar lessons with local Hector berlioz. He never studied the piano, and throughout his life played haltingly at best.
He was teased for what was seen as a boyish crush, but something of his early passion for Estelle endured all his life.
At his father's insistence he enrolled at the School of Medicine of the University of Paris. Music did not at that time enjoy the prestige of literature in French culture,  but Paris nonetheless possessed two major opera houses and the country's most important music library.
He was particularly inspired by Gluck's use of the orchestra to carry the drama along.
His father suggested Hector berlioz as an alternative profession and refused to countenance music as a career. Conservatoire student[ edit ] In Berlioz composed a Messe solennelle. It was performed twice, after which he suppressed the score, which was thought lost until a copy was discovered in During and he wrote his first opera, Les francs-juges, which was not performed and survives only in fragments, the best known of which is the overture.
In the same year he made the first of four attempts to win France's premier music prize, the Prix de Romeand was eliminated in the first round. Although at the time Berlioz spoke hardly any English, he was overwhelmed by the plays — the start of a lifelong passion for Shakespeare. He also conceived a passion for Kemble's leading lady, Harriet Smithson — his biographer Hugh Macdonald calls it "emotional derangement" — and obsessively pursued her, without success, for several years.
She refused even to meet him. The hall was far from full, and Berlioz lost money. At around the same time he encountered two further creative inspirations: Prix de Rome[ edit ] Berlioz was largely apolitical, and neither supported nor opposed the July Revolution ofbut when it broke out he found himself in the middle of it.
I was finishing my cantata when the revolution broke out I dashed off the final pages of my orchestral score to the sound of stray bullets coming over the roofs and pattering on the wall outside my window. On the 29th I had finished, and was free to go out and roam about Paris till morning, pistol in hand.
His feelings were reciprocated, and the couple planned to be married. Protracted applause followed the performance, and the press reviews expressed both the shock and the pleasure the work had given. Liszt later transcribed the entire Symphonie fantastique for piano to enable more people to hear it.
Within three weeks of his arrival he went absent without leave: His colleagues at the Villa Medici, under their benevolent principal Horace Vernetmade him welcome,  and he enjoyed his meetings with Felix Mendelssohnwho was visiting the city, [n 9] but he found Rome distasteful: He visited many parts of it during his residency in Rome.
Macdonald comments that after his time there, Berlioz had "a new colour and glow in his music He left Rome in May and arrived in Paris in November.
Paris[ edit ] On 9 December Berlioz presented a concert of his works at the Conservatoire. Biographers differ about whether and to what extent Smithson's receptiveness to Berlioz's wooing was motivated by financial considerations; [n 10] but she accepted him, and in the face of strong opposition from both their families they were married at the British Embassy in Paris on 3 October Harriet continued to yearn for a career, but, as her biographer Peter Raby comments, she never learned to speak French fluently, which seriously limited both her professional and her social life.
Greatly impressed by the Symphonie fantastique, he asked Berlioz to write him a suitable piece. Macdonald comments that this was activity "at which he excelled but which he abhorred". The former included musical pedants, coloratura writing and singing, viola players who were merely incompetent violinists, inane libretti, and baroque counterpoint.
Neither work brought him much money or artistic fame at the time,  but the Requiem held a special place in his affections: Berlioz's name is not mentioned. Kern Holoman comments that Berlioz rightly regarded Benvenuto Cellini as a work of exceptional exuberance and verve, deserving a better reception than it received.
Holoman adds that the piece was of "surpassing technical difficulty", and that the singers were not especially co-operative. This time Paganini was present in the audience; he came on to the platform at the end and knelt in homage to Berlioz and kissed his hand.21 rows · Berlioz was the archetypal French Romantic composer/conductor, known for passionate .
Hector Berlioz Facts. Hector Berlioz ( – ) was a Romantic composer whose contribution to music is unparalleled. He is credited with helping to advance romanticism as an ideal in music and he also introduced many exceptional techniques that changed the orchestra.
Berlioz was the archetypal French Romantic composer/conductor, known for passionate emotions, intense literary inspirations, and grandiose musical displays.
Returning from Rome, Berlioz organized a concert in , featuring his symphony. Harriet Smithson was in the audience. They were introduced.
Check out Hector Berlioz on Amazon Music. Stream ad-free or purchase CD's and MP3s now on Amazon. Hector Berlioz () was a controversial French composer, dramatically splitting the opinions of critics. His most famous work is Symphonie Fantastique.
Hector Berlioz was born on December 11, , into the family of Dr. Louis Berlioz and Marie-Antoinette-Josephine. Hector was the first of six children, three of whom died.