Semet, Theophile Aime Emile



French composer and conductor; born at Lille. Studied the violoncello and harmony in his native town, and gained prizes for proficiency in these branches which procured him a grant from the city to study in Paris, where he had composition under Halevy. He became a musical director in Paris, played drums in the orchestra of the Paris Opera for many years, and also taught music in that city. All of his music has great melodic beauty, but is exceedingly difficult to execute. He composed an opera, La petite Fadette, which he described as a vaudeville in two acts. His other operas were Gil Bias and Ondine, both of which were fairly successful. He also wrote cantatas; songs and ballet music; and his part-song, La danse des Sylphes is greatly admired. Semet was decorated by his government as a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. He died at Creteil.