Dubois, Clement François Theodore


He was born in Rosnay, France, became prominent as a teacher and composer and was, until 1905, when succeeded by Gabriel Urbain Faure, the head of the Paris Conservatory. He studied music at the Conservatory, gaining prizes for harmony and fugue and won the Prize of Rome, in 1861, under Ambroise Thomas, for his cantata, Atala. At the Conservatory he studied piano under Marmontel, organ under Benoist, harmony under Bazin and fugue and composition under Ambroise Thomas. Returning to Paris from Rome, in 1866, he became leader of the chapel at the Church of Ste. Clotilde, then at the Madeleine, and finally organist at the Madeleine, succeeding Saint-Saens, in 1877. He became professor of harmony at the Conservatory, in 1871, succeeding Leo Delibes, and finally in 1896 was given the directorship, succeeding his former teacher, Ambroise Thomas.

Dubois' rise was gradual, and he worked hard and long before attaining his present position in the musical world. While at Ste. Clotilde he produced an important sacred work, entitled Les Sept Paroles du Christ, which was performed for the first time on a Good Friday, and was given at the Conservatory concerts. He also wrote a Messe Solennelle, which was given at the Madeleine, and while at Ste. Clotilde he wrote a piece, entitled La Guzla de 1'fimir, which was given at the Athenee in 1873. In 1878 he won the prize at the Concours Musicale, instituted by the city of Paris. Dubois is the author of a number of orchestral works; pianomusic; and religious compositions, which denote great talent and have qualities that entitle him to a conspicuous place among modern composers. Of his oratorios, Paradise Lost is best known in America. He has also produced four operas; and the ballet, La Farandole, given at the Paris Opera in 1883. Fritiof, written in 1881, ranks with his operas as his best work, together with a divertissement; pieces d'orchestre; and scenes symphoniques. His dramatic works for the stage, beside those mentioned are Aben-Hamet, a grand opera; Xaviere, a dramatic idyll in three acts, produced at the Opera Comiqtie in 1895; the symphonic poem, Adonis; another symphonic poem, Notre Dame de la Mer, produced in 1897; and he has set to music a Latin ode on the baptism of King Clovis for tenor and barytone solo, choir and orchestra, which was performed at Rheims in 1899. He has also composed many suites; concertos; single songs; pianopieces; and other chamber-music. Dubois was elected to the Academy in 1894 in place of Gounod and in 1883 was decorated with the Legion of Honor.