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Erik Satie (composer and pianist)

(1866-1925)

Erik Alfred Leslie Satie was a famous French composer and pianist who is remembered for his unconventional and often humorous style of music. He was born in the middle of the 19th century in France and began his musical education under a local church organist. He enrolled in the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 13, but was dismissed as a very insignificant and lazy student after two and half years. He later reentered the Conservatory, but failed to change his teachers’ opinion and left within year. He then joined French military but was discharged after a few months due to a severe case of self-inflicted bronchitis. After recouping, he began his career as a pianist at the Le Chat Noir Café-Cabaret in Montmartre, struggling all the while to gain recognition and financial stability. He became famous at the age of 45, when Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy played his works at concerts. Very soon, musicians of the younger generation began to appreciate his work, which also lead to the formation of the ‘Les Six’. However, his work was truly recognized only after his death; and within a decade of his death, he began to be hailed as a genius.

You can read the full biography here. Of course, you can find Erik Satie’s sheet music at the Sheet Music Library (pdf).

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