Born in Paris 20 January 1855.
Died Limay 10 June 1899 as a result of an accident.
He was a French Romantic composer who died at the age of 44 just as his career was beginning to flourish.
Born in Paris into an affluent bourgeois family, Ernest Chausson was the sole surviving child of a building contractor who had made his fortune assisting Baron Haussmann in the redevelopment of Paris in the 1850s. To please his father, Chausson studied law and was appointed a barrister for the Court of Appeals, but had little or no interest in the profession. Before deciding on a musical career, he dabbled in writing and drawing.
In 1879, at the age of 24, he began attending the composition classes of Jules Massenet at the Paris Conservatoire. At the Conservatoire, Chausson also studied with César Franck, with whom he formed a close friendship that lasted until Franck's death in 1890.
During 1882 and 1883, Chausson, who enjoyed travel, visited Bayreuth to hear the operas of Richard Wagner. On the first of these journeys, Chausson went with d'Indy for the premiere of Wagner's Parsifal, and on the second trip he went with his new spouse Jeanne Escudier (1862–1936), with whom he was to have five children.
Chausson's work is deeply individual, but it does reflect some technical influences of both Wagner and his other musical hero, Franck. Chausson's compositional idiom bridges the gap between the ripe Romanticism of Massenet and Franck and the more introverted Impressionism of Debussy.
He completed one opera, Le roi Arthus (King Arthur). His orchestral output includes the symphonic poem Viviane; the Symphony in B-flat, his sole symphony; Poème for violin and orchestra, an important piece for violin.
Chausson left behind only 39 opus-numbered pieces but his compositions are consistently high, and several of his works continue to be heard today. This is his only organ composition.