Paul Dukas was born in Paris, France on October 1, 1865 and died in Paris on May 17, 1935. Dukas is considered a Romantic composer from the time period ranging from 1825 - 1900.
Dukas studied piano, harmony and composition at the Paris Conservatory. He won the Prix de Rome (a prize) for his composition of counterpoint and fugue in 1886 and another in 1888 for the cantata, "Velleda".
Dukas was a professor of orchestration at the Conservatory. He was very gifted in doing orchestration and also a well respected music critic. His very critical sense made him a perfectionist and he destroyed many of the pieces he wrote because he thought they were not good enough. Because of this, only a few of his pieces have been published and he is not as well known.
One of Dukas best known pieces is "L'Apprenti Sorcier" or the "Sorcerer's Apprentice". This piece has been made famous by its use in the Walt Disney Movie "Fantasia", where Mickey Mouse is an apprentice to a Sorcerer and causes trouble when he tries on the Sorcerer's hat.
We will learn about Paul Dukas in October because his birthday was in October and also because "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" is a fun piece to listen to around Halloween time.