For many people the name Paul Dukas (1865-1935) will always be synonymous with the ‘Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ episode from Walt Disney’s Fantasia in which Mickey Mouse (as the eponymous apprentice) is overwhelmed by an army of brooms and buckets sloshing more and more water in the sorcerer’s den. It’s a catastrophe set to music and a classic sequence from a classic film. Premièred in 1897, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice was an immediate success and has remained Dukas’ most famous work. Like every other aspiring French composer of his time, Dukas was drawn to writing music for the theatre. The opera Ariane et Barbe-bleue and ballet La Péri are his best known works for the stage. In addition to composing, Dukas was a music critic and an educator. He held positions at the Paris Conservatoire and the École Normale de Musique de Paris where his pupils included Olivier Messiaen, Maurice Duruflé and Jean Langlais.

© Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra