born Dec. 22, 1883, Paris, France

died Nov. 8, 1965, New York, N.Y., U.S.

French-born U.S. composer.

Forbidden to study music by his father, he secretly continued his studies and entered the Schola Cantorum with the help of his cousin, the pianist Alfred Cortot (1877–1962). He soon moved to Berlin, where he met Richard Strauss , musicians in tune with his forward-looking ideas. His Bourgogne (1907) caused a scandal because of its dissonance. His budding conducting career was interrupted by World War I, and he moved to the U.S. In 1921 he cofounded the International Composers Guild. His output was small, but every piece became a classic, including Offrandes , Amériques (both 1921), Hyperprism , Octandre (both 1923), Arcana (1927), and Ionisation (1931), works remarkable for the way they used instruments, especially percussion, to create blocks of sound. After the early 1950s, when he finally gained access to the electronic sound equipment he desired, he concentrated on {{link=electronic music">electronic music .

Edgard Varèse.

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