Stamp of the Month: June 2024

Darius Milhaud

The French composer Darius Milhaud was born on September 4, 1892 in Marseille. He died on June 22, 1974 in Geneva. June 2024 will mark the 50th anniversary of his death.
Milhaud’s musical education began with violin lessons at the age of 7. From 1909 he studied the instrument at the conservatory in Paris. However, he gave up these studies three years later and studied composition and conducting with Vincent d’Indy, among others. While still a student, he composed several songs based on poems by contemporary French poets and his first opera, “La brebis égarée”. As an attaché to the French ambassador in Rio de Janeiro, he became acquainted with Brazilian folklore and popular music and after the First World War he joined the “Groupe des Six” in France.

France 27.4.1985
In 1940, Milhaud emigrated to the USA. From 1947 he was professor of composition at the Mills College in Oakland and from 1948 he also headed a composition class at the Conservatory in Paris. His students included Dave Brubeck, Burt Bacharach, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Iannis Xenakis.

Israel 25.4.1995

Milhaud’s catalogue of works as a composer contains more than 400 entries from all traditional musical genres such as opera, symphonic music, concertos, chamber and vocal music and songs. In addition, he composed several film scores and is considered the classical composer of his generation whose music came closest to the then emerging jazz.

The video shows the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under the direction of the young German-Japanese conductor Erina Yashima (*1986) with the ballet music “La Création du Monde” op. 81a by Darius Milhaud. The work is considered an early example of the influence of jazz on classical music.