- Robert Orledge
A group of young French composers, formed by Milhaud around Henri Sauguet in 1923, with Satie as their mascot. As Satie always maintained that ‘a Satie school could never exist’, his home suburb of Arcueil was wisely chosen to denote the group. The other members were Henri Cliquet (later Cliquet-Pleyel), Roger Désormière, Maxime-Benjamin Jacob and Baron Jacques Benoist-Méchin. Only Benoist-Méchin was not a pupil of Charles Koechlin, and he left the group before its first joint concert at the Collège de France, Paris, on 14 June 1923, where Satie's presentation ensured an enthusiastic reception. In the wake of Les Six, musical expertise counted for less in launching careers than publicity, a corporate identity and high-level avant-garde support. Other concerts soon followed, notably on 25 October 1923, when works by the group featured alongside those of Satie, Koechlin and Cole Porter at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, and Satie publicly dissociated himself from Les Six. As a result of their initial success, Désormière became a conductor for the Ballets Suédois in ...