Fernand Gustave Halphen (born February 18, 1872 May 16, 1917) was a French Jewish composer.
Life and career
Fernand Halphen was the son of Georges Halphen, a diamond merchant, and of Henriette Antonia Stern (died in 1905), who was from a family of bankers. From the age of ten, he studied under the direction of Gabriel Faur before entering the Paris Conservatory where he took a composition course taught by Ernest Guiraud, who also taught Paul Dukas, Claude Debussy and Erik Satie. After Guirauds death in 1892, Halphen studied with Jules Massenet, who also taught Henri Rabaud, Florent Schmitt, Charles Koechlin and Reynaldo Hahn. He won first prize for his fugue in 1895, and the next year won second place for the second Grand Prix de Rome with his cantata Mlusine, behind Jules Mouquet and Richard d’Ivry.
Fernand Halphen is known principally as a composer. Notably, he wrote a symphony in four parts, which debuted in Paris and in Monte-Carlo, as well as a suite for orchestra, a pantomime: Hagoseida, a ballet: Le Rveil du faune, and several other symphonies and melodies. He was also interested in chamber music, and wrote a Sonata for violin and piano, and composed a few pages for organ. Finally, he was the author of an opera of one act: Le Cor Fleuri (ferie lyrique, with libretto by Ephram Mikhael and Andr-Ferdinand Hrold), which debuted in the national theatre Opra-Comique 10 May 1904.
Captain of the thirteenth territorial infantry regiment during World War I, Halphen died for his country on 16 May 1917.
His chief works are:
a Sicilian, a suite for orchestra, 1896;
a symphony, Monte Carlo, 1897;
a sonata for piano and violin, 1899;
Le Cor Fleuri, lyric opera in one act, based on the play by the late Ephraim Mical.
He also composed several songs, and pieces for the piano, violin, horn, etc.
Melodies, pieces for piano rine (violin), Franois Le Roux (baritone), Jean McManama (horn), Clara Novakova (flute), Sonia Wieder-Atherton (cello). Patrimoines musicaux des juifs de France Vol.5 - 2006. Orphe dor 2007 of the Acadmie du Disque Lyrique, and Prix Gabriel Faur 2007.
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