Biography of Henri Benjamín Rabaud (1873-1949)

Composer and French Orchestra conductor, born in Paris on November 10, 1873 and died in the same city on September 11, 1949. Grandson of the celebrated flutist Louis Dorus (1812-1896) and the soprano Dorus-Gras, and son of Hippolyte Rabaud François, was Professor of cello at the Paris Conservatory and the author of a well-known method for this instrument.

Rabaud entered the Paris Conservatory in 1891 as a student of Taudon (harmony), Jules Massenet (composition) and Gedalge (counterpoint and Fugue) and obtained the Prix de Rome in 1894 with his cantata Daphne.

Together with Max d´Ollone, he organized concerts of French music in Vienna and Rome and was using his work Procession nocturne (1899), which became known as a composer. Although initially showed its reticence before the work of César Franck and Wagner, his interest in them was growing and this double influence was seen in Job (1900) oratorio with Franck and Wagner Parsifal mystical nuances. His first lyrical work, Fille de Roland, based on the tragedy of Henri de Bornier he premiered at the Opéra Comique in Paris in 1904 and which was a moderate success. His most prominent work is Marouf le savetier du Caire, composed in 1914 and based on the tales of the 1001 nights.

He made his career as a conductor throughout the Paris Opera from 1908 to 1914 and with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the United States, which led in 1918. In 1920, he held the post of director of the Conservatory of the French capital to replace Gabriel Fauré, which had orchestrated his suite for piano Dolly. He left the direction of the Conservatory in 1941 and was replaced by Delvincourt. That same year he traveled to South America, where he remained until 1946 directing several concerts.

Rabaud also wrote music for theatre, as Antoine et Cléopâtre (1908) or the merchant of Venice (1917), and scores for early silent films: le Miracle des loups and le Joueur d´echecs. His last work, le Jeu de l´amour et du hasard, was left unfinished, but was later completed by Max d´Ollone.


Rabaud, Henri: Orchestral Works, Leif Segerstam (director), Philharmonic Orchestra of Rheinland-Pfalz, MARCO POLO.