Delibes, (Clément Philibert) Léo
- Hugh Macdonald
(b St Germain du Val, Feb 21, 1836; d Paris, Jan 16, 1891). French composer. His father was in the postal service, while his mother, an able musician, was the daughter of an opera singer and niece of the organist Edouard Batiste. Léo, the only child, learnt music from his mother and uncle; after his father’s death in 1847 the family moved to Paris, where he entered Tariot’s class at the Conservatoire. He obtained a premier prix in solfège in 1850 and later studied the organ with Benoist and composition with Adolphe Adam. His Conservatoire career was without distinction, and he never entered for the Prix de Rome. He was a chorister at Ste Marie-Madeleine and sang as a boy in the première of Meyerbeer’s Le prophète at the Opéra in 1849. At the age of 17 he became organist of St Pierre-de-Chaillot and also accompanist at the Théâtre Lyrique. Although he remained a church organist until ...