Claude Debussy was born on August 22, 1862 in St.-Germain-en-Laye, France. His birth name was Achille-Claude Debussy. He was the oldest of five children. A talented piano player, he won a place in the Paris Conservatory when he was 10 years old. His father wanted him to be a concert pianist. But Claude wanted to be his own person. For a while, Claude lived in Russia teaching the children in the town of Nadezhda von Meck, this is where he learned Russian music. He then lived in Rome for a few years. In Rome he met Franz Liszt, a pianist who inspired the French composer. While in Rome, he was homesick and wanted to go back to Paris. His elders did not like his music and complained that it didn't make sense. His music was modern at the time, so Debussy thought he would only perform for high society. Debussy's only completed opera, Pelleas et Melisande, was a hit and left him wealth and prosperity for years to come. Debussy's house was filled with many different artifacts. Claude Debussy died on March 25, 1918 of cancer, while bombs hit Paris during World War I.
Some of his major works were La Mer, Iberia, Images, Children's Corner Suite, The Afternoon of a Faun, illustrating a poem by Mallarme and The Girl with the Flaxen Hair. The opera Pelleas et Melisande, written in 1902, made Debussy the most controversial musical figure in France. It was a turning point in his career and is considered one of the most important operas Impressionism ever produced. Some other orchestral music pieces written by Debussy are The Sea, Moonlight, and Games.
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