Florent Schmitt and the Besançon International Competition for Young Conductors

The elderly composer chaired the jury at the Besançon’s first competition in 1951. These days there’s certainly no dearth of international competitions for young and emerging conductors.  No fewer than 30 such events are open to contenders from all over the world.  Add in a number of similar competitions that are national rather than international in […]

Giving vibrant voice to powerful poetry: Florent Schmitt’s Trois Chants (1943).

French composers of the period really knew how to write vocal music.  Composers like Ravel, Debussy and Florent Schmitt were taught how to write for the human voice. — Karina Gauvin, Canadian Soprano How can one composer be so gifted at so much? — JoAnn Falletta, American Orchestra Conductor When one looks at the extensive […]

Dancing Demons and Underwater Airplanes: Florent Schmitt’s Phantasmagorical Ronde burlesque (1927)

Within the catalogue of Florent Schmitt’s compositions are a goodly number of brilliant orchestral showpieces that exploit the colors of the orchestra to the fullest degree. One of the most interesting and effective of these also happens to be one of the shortest — the Ronde burlesque, Opus 78. This piece was composed in 1927 during a time […]