Georges Auric

Georges Auric

Lodeve, Departement de l'Hérault, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Death 23 Jul 1983 (aged 84)
Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
Burial Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
Memorial ID 21584 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Composer. He was a member of "Les Six", a group of irreverent Parisian musicians who rebelled against Romanticism and Impressionism in the years after World War I. Today he is best remembered as one of France's ablest creators of film music. Auric was born in Lodeve, southern France, and raised in Montpellier, where he began music studies. Between 1913 and 1916 he attended the Paris Conservatory and studied composition with Vincent d'Indy at the Schola Cantorum, gaining a reputation as both a prodigy and a non-conformist. By age 16 he had written over 300 songs and piano pieces. Early on he was mentored by Erik Satie, who included him in his avant-garde group "Nouveaux Jeunes" ("New Youth"), and Jean Cocteau, who dedicated his influential musical manifesto "The Cock and the Harlequin" (1918) to Auric. When Satie broke with the "Nouveaux Jeunes" in 1918 Cocteau took over as its patron and propagandist; it eventually comprised Auric, Louis Durey, Arthur Honegger, Darius Milhaud, Francis Poulenc, and Germaine Tailleferre, and was renamed "Les Six" by critic Henri Collet in 1920. Their professed aim was to do away with heavy-handed seriousness and write music that was witty, concise, and derived from popular culture. Auric contributed to the group's one collaborative effort, the ballet "The Marriage on the Eiffel Tower" (1921). United more by friendship than common ideals, "Les Six" soon went their seperate ways but its populist aesthetic had a permanent effect on Auric's self-effacing yet saucy style. His key works of the period are three ballets he composed for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, "Les Fâcheux" (1924), "Les Matelots" (1925), and "La Pastorale" (1926), the comic opera "Sous le masque" (1927), and the Piano Sonata in F (1930). In 1930 Auric entered a new phase with his music for Cocteau's experimental film "The Blood of a Poet"; he found the cinema congenial and was prolifically involved in the medium over the next four decades. He scored all of Cocteau's subsequent films, memorably the classic "Beauty and the Beast" (1946), had a fruitful association with Britain's Ealing Studios, and worked with such directors as Rene Clair, Max Ophuls, John Huston, William Wyler, and Henri-Georges Clouzot. His song "It's April Again" from Huston's "Moulin Rouge" (1952), better known as "Where Is Your Heart?", became an international pop hit. Auric's approximately 120 screen credits include "A nous la liberté" (1931), "The Eternal Return" (1943), "Caesar and Cleopatra" (1945), "La Symphonie pastorale" (1946), "Passport to Pimlico" (1949), "Orpheus" (1950), "The Lavender Hill Mob" (1951), "Roman Holiday" (1953), "The Wages of Fear" (1953), "Rififi" (1955), "Les Diaboliques" (1955), "Lola Montes" (1955), "The Mystery of Picasso" (1956), "Heaven Knows Mr. Allison" (1957), "Bonjour Tristesse" (1958), "The Testament of Orpheus" (1960), and "The Innocents" (1961). Other notable works are the ballets "La Concurrence" (1932), "Le Peintre et son modele" (1949), "Phedre" (libretto by Cocteau, 1950), "Chemin de lumiere" (1952), "Bal de voleurs" (1960), and "Tricolore" (1978), the Partita for Two Pianos (1955), and a series of six chamber pieces called "Imaginaires" (1968 to 1976). During World War II he lived mainly in southern France and was involved in a musicians' resistance group, the Front National de Musique. From 1954 to 1977 Auric was president of the French Union of Composers and Authors (SACEM), and as administrator of both the Paris Opera and Opera Comique (1962 to 1968) he helped revitalize those fading institutions. His honors were many, including Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor, election to the Académie des Beaux-Arts (1962) and the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1979), and awards at the Cannes and Venice Film Festivals. (Curiously, he was never nominated for an Oscar, despite the consistent excellence of his movie music). He was married to painter Nora Auric, who died in 1982.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards

Family Members




How famous was Georges Auric?

Current rating:

33 votes

to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 16 Apr 2001
  • Find a Grave Memorial 21584
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Georges Auric (15 Feb 1899–23 Jul 1983), Find a Grave Memorial no. 21584, citing Cimetière de Montparnasse, Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France ; Maintained by Find A Grave .