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Ferroud, Pierre-Octave


(b Chasselay, nr Lyons, 6 Jan 1900; d Debrecen, 17 Aug 1936). French composer. He

studied natural sciences at the University of Lyons and the organ with Edouard Commette.
From 1920 to 1922 he studied with Guy Ropartz in Strasbourg; after returning to Lyons he
became a pupil and confidant of Florent Schmitt. He took an active part in the musical life
of the city, notably through the Salon d'Automne Lyonnais, which he founded for the
performance of new music. In 1923 he moved to Paris where he was largely responsible for
the establishment of Le Triton, a society which gave a remarkable series of concerts (1932
9) of contemporary music, including works by Bartk, Dallapiccola, Hindemith, Honegger,
Janek, Martin, Milhaud, Poulenc, Prokofiev, Schoenberg and Stravinsky; it soon
established itself as an important forum for young French composers. Ferroud also worked
as a music critic for the journals Musique et thtre and Chantecler. His death in a car crash
deeply affected his friend Poulenc, who was moved to compose the Litanies la Vierge
noire as a memorial.

For the Ballets Sudois, he arranged some Swedish folk tunes for the score of Jean Brlin's
Le porcher (1924). Foules, an orchestral work depicting the rapid movement of a city
crowd, was first performed on 21 March 1926 and again a few weeks later at the ISCM
Festival in Zrich. With Ravel, Milhaud, Poulenc, Roussel and others, he collaborated on
the charming ballet L'ventail de Jeanne (1927); his only opera, Chirurgie (a comic tale
about a toothache, based on a story by Chekhov), was first performed in Monte Carlo the
following year. Ferroud's last stage work was the ballet Jeunesse, a collaboration with
Andr Coeuroy and Serge Lifar, given its premire at the Paris Opra in 1933. His musical
style was sometimes astringent, sometimes lyrical, but usually with a strong contrapuntal
sense and a liking for bold harmonies. He was influenced in particular by Bartk. His most
important orchestral work was the Symphony in A, first performed by Monteux with the
Orchestre Symphonique de Paris on 8 March 1931.


R. Dumesnil: Portraits de musiciens franais (Paris, 1938)

C. Rostand: L'oeuvre de Pierre-Octave Ferroud (Paris, 1958)

R. Melkis-Bihler: Pierre-Octave Ferroud (19001936): ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der

Musik in Frankreich (Frankfurt, 1995)

M. Duchesneau: L'avant-garde musicale Paris de 1871 1939 (Sprimont, 1997), 13342,


Claude Rostand/R