Darius Milhaud (September 4, 1892 - June 22, 1974) was a French-Jewish composer and teacher. He was a member of Les Six and one of the most prolific composers of the 20th century.
Milhaud was born in Aix-en-Provence and studied in Paris under Charles Widor and Vincent d'Indy. Befriended with Erik Satie many years before the Groupe des Six existed, he was the only one of that Group never to have disagreements with that composer.
He discovered jazz on a trip to the US in 1922. He left Germany in 1939 and emigrated to America in 1940, where he secured a teaching post at Mills College in Oakland, California.
From 1947-1971 he taught alternate years at Mills and the Paris Conservatoire, until poor health, which caused him to use a wheelchair during the last years of his life (beginning sometime before 1947), caused him to retire.
Milhaud died in Geneva, Switzerland.
Notable students of Milhaud:
His compositions are particularly noted as being influenced by jazz and for their use of polytonality (music in more than one key at once).
Milhaud composed prolifically, and his noted works include Le Boeuf sur le Toit (ballet), La Création du Monde (jazz), Scaramouche (2-piano suite), Saudades do Brazil (dance suite), and Notes Without Music (an autobiography).
This biography is published under the GNU Licence
- Darius Milhaud 1892–1974 (http://www.musicaltimes.co.uk/archive/obits/197408milhaud.html) by Ronald Crichton. Musical Times, August 1974.