Born Oct. 1, 1865 in Paris, France Died May 17, 1935 in Paris, France After attending the Paris Conservatory, Paul Dukas became a music critic and orchestrator. As a composer, he was a perfectionist and destroyed much more than he ever published. Among his few surviving works, the most famous was The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (1897), a programmatic orchestral work widely introduced to the world in 1940 when Mickey Mouse portrayed the Sorcerer in Walt Disney’s Fantasia.
Among other works are an opera, Ariadne and Bluebeard, a ballet Le Peri, and Symphony in C. As a teacher of composition at the Ecole Normale de Musique, Paul Dukas helped shape a new generation of composers, with a roster of famous students that included Olivier Messiaen, Manuel Ponce, Carlos Chavez, Joaquin Rodrigo, and Xian Xinghai.
See Mickey Mouse in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice from Disney’s Fantasia. What a shame Dukas died 5 years before Mickey immortalized his imaginative symphonic poem, which is now a musical classic for children around the world.
Recommended CD for kids: Hear the music, along with the narrated story. Also discover the history of this ancient story, learn about percussion instruments and play puzzle games in the guide. 41 min. CD