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More about Erik Satie

19th century
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From humble beginnings as the son of a French music publisher, Erik Satie (1866–1925) went on to become a hugely innovative and visionary composer who anticipated 20th century composers such as Ravel, Poulenc and the Minimalists.

He studied in the Paris Conservatory where he was labelled as untalented by his teachers and did not finish his studies. For much of his life he received little success for his compositions but managed to with Parade (1916-17). When he died in 1925, Satie was barely known beyond the city limits of Paris and it took almost 50 years for him to be rediscovered by the modern minimalist composer, John Cage. He is now best known for his piano miniatures such as Trois Gymnopédies (1888), Trois Sarabandes (1887) and Trois Gnossiennes (1890).

Satie was best known for his eccentric behaviour which involved some odd antics which included buying seven identical yellow corduroy suits (one for each day of the week), only consuming white foods in the hope to inform his music, and providing instructions for performers to play a piece as “light as an egg”.


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