Claude Debussy was a late 19th and early 20th century composer whose harmonic innovations had a profound effect on generations of musicians and composers. He was a great innovator with strikingly original new aesthetics that emerged over the course of his career. He created new genres and a new personal style with regard to tone colour and timbre.
Claude Debussy was born in 1862 in St. Germain-en-Laye and lived for a while in Cannes while his family was in exile during the Franco-Prussian war. In 1871 he began his studies at the Paris Conservatoire at age ten, having never attended an ordinary school.
The 1880s were a time of financial struggle for Debussy but nevertheless he frequented the literary cafés of Paris where he met composers, artists, writers and philosophers. Along with the painter Cézanne and the poet Mallarmé, Debussy became known as one of the three greats in French modernism.