Hector Berlioz 11 December 1803 – 8 March 1869
Early Years Hector Berlioz was born in France at La Côte-Saint-André. He had five siblings in all, three of whom did not survive to adulthood.The other two, Nanci and Adèle, remained close to Berlioz throughout his life. Berlioz was not a child prodigy, unlike some other famous composers of the time; he began studying music at age 12, when he began writing small compositions and arrangements. As a result of his father's discouragement, he never learned to play the piano. He became proficient at guitar, flageolet and flute.He learned harmony by textbooks alone—he was not formally trained. The majority of his early compositions were romances and chamber pieces. In March 1821, he graduated from high school in Grenoble, and in October, at age 18, Berlioz was sent to Paris to study medicine, a field for which he had no interest and, later, outright disgust after viewing a human corpse being dissected.
Hector Berlioz His first visit to the Paris Opéra, where he saw Iphigénie en Tauride by Christoph Willibald Gluck, a composer whom he came to admire above all, jointly alongside Ludwig van Beethoven. He also began to visit the Paris Conservatoire library, seeking out scores of Gluck's operas and making personal copies of parts of them. Despite his parents' disapproval,in 1824 he formally abandoned his medical studies to pursue a career in music. He composed the Messesolennelle. This work was rehearsed and revised after the rehearsal but not performed until the following year. Berlioz later claimed to have burnt the score,but it was re-discovered in 1991. In 1826 he began attending the Conservatoirein Paris to study composition. He specified huge orchestral forces for some of his works, and conducted several concerts with more than 1,000 musicians.He also composed around 50 songs. His influence was critical for the further development of Romanticism, especially in composers like Richard Wagner, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Franz Liszt, Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler and many others.
Hector Berlioz Between 1830 and 1840, Berlioz wrote many of his most popular and enduring works. The foremost of these are the Symphoniefantastique (1830), Harold en Italie (1834), the Grande messe des morts (Requiem) (1837) and Roméo et Juliette (1839). Berlioz's work as a conductor was highly influential and brought him fame across Europe.He was considered by Charles Hallé, Hans von Bülow and others to be the greatest conductor of his era. He was considered extremely progressive for his day, and he, Wagner, and Liszt have been called the "Great Trinity of Progress" of 19th century Romanticism.
Significant Works Symphoniefantastique, 1830 Roméoet Juliette (1839) Harold en Italie (1834) Romance: Rêverie et caprice, for violin and orchestra Messesolenelle (1824)
Listen… Symphonie Fantastique- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TE1_vyWORoE Romeo and Juliete- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5MJDd8zEOM Romance: Rêverie et caprice, for violin and orchestra- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyotBqnzyrI