Claude Debussy’s Childhood And Early Life
Born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France on 22 August 1862, Claude Debussy was the eldest of five children of ‘Manuel-Achille Debussy’ who owned a shop selling china and crockery and ‘Victorine Manoury Debussy’ who was a seamstress. Debussy’s talents were discerned right from his childhood and he began taking piano lessons at the tender age of seven by Cerutti. In 1872, at the age of ten, Debussy joined the Paris Conservatoire, where he spent eleven years of musical learning. There, he came across the affluent ‘Nadezhda von Meck’ who gave him the job of a music teacher to her children. She provided very valuable musical experience to Debussy through travel, concerts and contacts. In the Paris Conservatoire, he met many eminent personalities involved in music. For instance, he studied composition with Ernest Guiraud, harmony with Émile Durand, music history/theory with Louis-Albert Bourgault-Ducoudray, organ with César Franck, piano with Antoine François Marmontel and solfège with Albert Lavignac.
Nadezhda Filaretovna von Meck was a Russian business woman who became an influential patron of the arts, especially music. She is best known today for her artistic relationship with Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, supporting him financially for thirteen years, so that he could devote himself full-time to composition, w…Clair de lune, piano solo