Arthur Honegger

Arthur Honegger (pronounced [aʁtyʁ ɔnɛɡɛːʁ]; 10 March 1892 – 27 November 1955) was a Swiss composer, who was born in France and lived a large part of his life in Paris. He was a member of Les Six. His most frequently performed work is probably the orchestral work Pacific 231, which was inspired by the sound of a steam locomotive. Born Oscar-Arthur Honegger (the first name was never used) in Le Havre, France, he initially studied harmony and violin in Paris, and after a brief period in Zurich, returned there to study with Charles-Marie Widor and Vincent d'Indy. He continued to study through the 1910s, before writing the ballet Le dit des jeux du monde in 1918, generally considered to be his first characteristic work. In 1926 he married Andrée Vaurabourg, a pianist and fellow student at the Paris Conservatoire, on the condition that they live in separate apartments. They lived apart for the duration of their marriage, with the exceptions of an attempt at living together in 1935, which lasted less than a year, and the last year of Honegger's life, when he could no longer live alone. They had one daughter, Pascale, born in 1932.

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