Marc-Antoine Charpentier

(1643 - 1704)

French composer of operas, masses, and songs, admired for the elegant structure of his compositions. Charpentier was born in Paris and for several years he studied music in Italy, where he was inspired by Italian composer Giacemo Carissimi. Charpentier returned to Paris in the early 1670s, where he worked with French playwrights Moliere and Pierre Corneille on music for several theater productions. There was much rivalry and disagreement between Charpentier and Italian-born French composer Jean Baptiste Lully, who, as the official composer to King Louis XIV, dominated music at court, especially in the realm of theatrical and operatic composition. Beginning in 1679, Charpentier composed music for the private masses of the Dauphin (the king's eldest son). In the 1680s he was composer and musical director to the Princess of Guise. In 1698 he was made director of music at the king's private chapel, Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. Today the work by Charpentier most often heard is a joyful Te Deum with festive trumpets, probably composed in the early 1690s. Read more on Wikipedia.