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Edgard Varèse

Criminally unknown throughout his own lifetime, composer Edgard Varèse was among the century's true creative visionaries; imagining music as bodies of sound in space -- its impact most profound as a physical experience -- his work sought to strip away convention and tradition, its massive, cacophonic power anticipating much of the experimental music to follow in its wake. Born in Paris on December 22, 1883, Varèse announced his intentions to become a composer while in his early teens, later studying under d'Indy, Roussel, and Widor; he was also encouraged in his pursuits by Claude Debussy and Romain Rolland. After a falling-out with his father, in 1907 Varèse relocated to Berlin, where he was befriended by Richard Strauss and Erik Satie; there he began to theorize that music should imitate scientific principles. He also became increasingly fascinated by the possibilities offered by electronic instrumentation.