No artist's achievement connects more directly with early experience than that of Berlioz. David Cairns draws on a wealth of family papers to recreate in authentic and intimate detail the provincial milieu of Berlioz's boyhood, showing how the son of a village doctor was already transforming himself into the composer of the Fantastic Symphony. Berlioz's desperate attempts to win his father's approval for his vocation, his struggles to establish himself on the Parisian musical scene, and his passionate pursuit of love are all brought vividly to life in this first volume of David Cairn's award-winning biography.
David Cairns was chief music critic of the Sunday Times from 1983 to 1992, having earlier been music critic and arts editor of the Spectator and a writer on the Evening Standard, Financial Times and New Statesman. He has been Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of California at Davis, a visiting scholar at the Getty Center and a visiting fellow of Merton College, Oxford. In 2013, in recognition of his services to French music, he was made Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
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