Jean Cras 1879-1932
p>Jean Émile Paul Cras Born in Brest and died 22 May 1879, 16 September 1932. His father, a Navy doctor, and his mother share the same passion for the music they transmit to their children. Excellent pianist, Jean Cras began composing early, since his first work at age thirteen. Brilliant student, he joined the Naval School at the age of seventeen, when he may engage in his two passions, balancing its mission of marine and his sensitivity as a musician. Cras met Henri Duparc, the famous French composer, early in his career, and the two became lifelong friends. Duparc called Cras "the son of my soul". Though Cras's duties in the French navy left him little time to devote to his musical work he continued to compose throughout his life, mainly writing chamber music and songs. Much of his most ambitious work, the opera Polyphème, was written and orchestrated during the war, however the majority of his musical output dates from after the war. Today, his string trio and string quartet are his best known works.