Oscar-Arthur Honegger (the first name was never used) was born to Swiss parents in Le Havre, France. After studying for two years at the Zurich Conservatory he enrolled in the Paris Conservatoire from 1911 to 1918. He made his Paris compositional debut in 1916 and in 1918 wrote the ballet Le dit des jeux du monde, generally considered to be his first characteristic work. In the early 1920s, Honegger shot to fame with his “dramatic psalm” Le Roi David (King David), which is still in the choral repertoire. Between World War I and World War II, Honegger was very prolific. He composed the music for Abel Gance’s epic 1927 film, Napoléon. He composed nine ballets and three vocal stage works, amongst other works. One of those stage works, Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher (1935), a “dramatic oratorio” is thought of as one of his finest works. In addition to his pieces written alone, he collaborated with Jacques Ibert on both an opera, L’Aiglon (1937), and an operetta.