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Jean-Michel Nectoux

(Urbain)

(b Pamiers, Ariège, May 12, 1845; d Paris, Nov 4, 1924). French composer, teacher, pianist and organist. The most advanced composer of his generation in France, he developed a personal style that had considerable influence on many early 20th-century composers. His harmonic and melodic innovations also affected the teaching of harmony for later generations.

He was the youngest of six children (one a daughter), born to Toussaint-Honoré Fauré (1810–85) and Marie-Antoinette-Hélène Lalène-Laprade (1809–87), a member of the minor aristocracy. Gabriel was sent to a foster-nurse in the village of Verniolle for four years. In 1849 his father was appointed director of the Ecole Normale at Montgauzy, near Foix; Fauré later recalled that from his early childhood he spent hours playing the harmonium in the chapel adjoining the school. An old blind lady, who came to listen and give advice, told his father about his gift for music; a certain Bernard Delgay shares the honour of having been his first music teacher. During the summer of ...