- Richard Langham Smith
(b Marseilles, Aug 17, 1901; d Paris, Jan 13, 1971). French composer and conductor of Corsican descent. A pupil of Gaubert and others at the Paris Conservatoire, he won the Prix de Rome in 1927 and the Grand Prix de la Musique Française in 1952. During the 1930s he was one of the founders, alongside Prokofiev, Poulenc, Milhaud and Honegger, of the contemporary music group ‘Triton’. He divided his career equally between composing and conducting, and he conducted at many opera houses throughout the world. As a prolific composer, his orchestral music is important, especially the concertos he wrote for solo instruments and orchestra. However, he was attracted above all to the theatre, and it was two of his operas, L'Atlantide and Miguel Mañara, that established his reputation. Miguel Mañara tells of a mystical Don Juan who has renounced debauchery. The composer's own origins are reflected in Sampiero Corso...