Vidal, Paul Antonin
- David Charlton
(b Toulouse, June 16, 1863; d Paris, April 9, 1931). French conductor, teacher and composer. He attended the Toulouse Conservatoire and later the Paris Conservatoire, where he was in Massenet’s composition class. He achieved a formidable record, winning premiers prix for both harmony (1879) and counterpoint and fugue (1881) and the Prix de Rome (1883) with the cantata Le gladiateur, which was published in vocal score. During his subsequent stay in Rome he became a particular friend of Debussy, whose L’enfant prodigue won the Prix de Rome in 1884. He began his conducting career at the Paris Opéra in 1889 as assistant chorus director, becoming director of singing in 1892 and chief conductor in 1906. He directed performances at the Opéra from 1894, beginning with Chabrier’s Gwendoline. Apart from the standard opera and ballet repertory he conducted the Parisian premières of Massenet’s ...