Claude Debussy is one of the best known French impressionistic composers. Born in 1862, his musical talents were apparent early, and at the age of ten, he entered the Paris Conservatoire where he studied for the next eleven years. His musical style emphasized non-tonal harmony. He would not usually use any particular key or tonic, but would use chords, dissonances, and modes for their sound rather than their function within a key. One of his most famous early works, which arguably set the standard for this style, was Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun). His work had a profound effect on successive generations of composers. We are collecting music, coverage and news about Debussy from around Classical MPR and our affiliated programs. Have a look (and listen) and enjoy.

Debussy's Life and Work

Stories about Debussy, and the music he created.

  • New Classical Tracks - Visions of Debussy
    Discovery, philosophy, visions in sound and images -- Russian pianist Alexei Lubimov finds all of these in the music of Claude Debussy, whose 150th birthday is celebrated this month. We are giving away five copies the this new disc.August 21, 2012
  • Learning to Listen - Debussy
    The sounds created by Claude Debussy can be quickly recognized, but he was a versatile composer who wrote in many different genres. This podcast introduces you to some of his instrumental works.August 21, 2012
  • On Debussy's 150th birthday, the spirit of his 'Clair de Lune' lives on
    Local Current blogger Andrea Swensson ruminates on Claude Debussy's impact in popular culture.August 20, 2012
  • Morning Glories - Debussy!
    With Debussy's 150th birthday on Wednesday, we are playing some of his greatest works during the 10 a.m. Morning Glories...August 20, 2012
  • Morning Glories - Debussy's World
    As we approach Debussy's 150th birthday, we'll listen to composers from Debussy's world: Franck, Ravel, Satie, Chausson, and Dukas.August 13, 2012
  • High on Symbolism: Composers' Mania for Pelleas and Melisande
    Literary movements are, in certain ways, like theoretical physics. They both operate mostly under the radar, undergoing subtle changes, describing rarified events too arcane for the likes of you and me to grasp or care about. But then, every once in awhile, a charismatic personality with a catchy equation (E=mc^2), or a thermonuclear device, demands our attention.April 30, 2012
  • New Classical Tracks: A Little Evening Music
    The pieces on Janine Jansen's new disc trace an arc in time, from sunset to sunrise, beginning with Debussy's Violin Sonata and ending with a new piece written in the home of Ravel.March 1, 2011
  • Regional Spotlight: Julia Bogorad-Kogan
    Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Principal Flutist Julia Bogorad-Kogan plays a haunting melody by Debussy for a warm late Spring afternoon.June 7, 2010
  • New Classical Tracks - Vladimir and Vovka Ashkenazy: Debussy & Ravel: Music For Two Pianos
    Pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy and his son Vovka come together to perform music by Debussy and Ravel.August 25, 2009
  • New Classical Tracks: From dentistry to clarinet
    Richard Stoltzman could have been a dentist, until a college encounter with classical music made him change his plans. On his new disc, he takes on pieces by Debussy and Weber for their musical worth, not their technical challenges.October 28, 2008

Debussy in the news

Coverage of Debussy from the Classical Notes blog.

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