Philippe Beaussant

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Novelist and musicologist, Philippe Beaussant works at the crossroads between music and literature. Sometimes the two disciplines are combined, when he publishes a book on French Baroque music or on the theatre of the 12th and 13th centuries, fields for which he is an acclaimed specialist. His most famous book is doubtless Lully ou le musicien du soleil (1992), a biography of Jean-Baptiste Lully, which received the Prix de la Critique Dramatique et Musicale, and the Prix d’Histoire from the French Academy, as well as the Prix Goncourt de la Biographie. The filmmaker Gérard Corbiau drew inspiration from it to direct the film The King Is Dancing, in 2000. Among his novels, the most noteworthy are his first Le Biographe (1978, Prix Ève Delacroix) and Héloïse (1993, Grand Prix du Roman from the French Academy).

Born in 1930, Philippe Beaussant long devoted himself to teaching, as a professor of classical literature. He is also a founding member of several cultural institutions: among others, he created the Maison de France d’Adélaïde, was director of the Institut de Musique et Danse Anciennes, and creator and artistic advisor of the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles. He is a producer at Radio France and was elected to the French Academy in 2007. He has received numerous distinctions, including, in 2001, the Prix de la Langue Française for his overall achievement.


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