Born: August 24, 1837 - Rosnay, Marne, France
Died: June 11, 1924 - Paris, France
The French composer, organist and music teacher, François Clément Théodore Dubois, studied first under Louis Fanart (the choir-master at Reims cathedral) and later at the Paris Conservatoire under Ambroise Thomas. He won the Prix de Rome in 1861.
In 1868, Théodore Dubois became choir-master at the Church of the Madeleine, and in 1871 took over from César Franck as choir-master at the Church of Sainte-Clotilde. In 1877, he returned to the Church of the Madeleine, succeeding Camille Saint-Saëns as organist there. From 1871 he taught at the Paris Conservatoire, with the eminent composers Paul Dukas and Florent Schmitt among his pupils.
Théodore Dubois was director of the Conservatoire from 1896 (succeeding Thomas upon the latter's death) to 1905. He was forced to resign after his refusal to award the Prix de Rome to Maurice Ravel created a substantial public outcry, which was increased by an open letter from the novelist and musicologist Romain Rolland. Gabriel Fauré took over from Dubois as director.
The music of Théodore Dubois includes operas, oratorios and three symphonies. His best known work is the oratorio Les sept paroles du Christ ("The Seven Last Words of Christ", 1867), which continues to get an occasional airing; his Toccata (1889) for the organ is also heard now and then. The rest of his large output has almost entirely disappeared from view. He has had a more lasting influence in teaching, with his theoretical works Traité de contrepoint et de fugue (on counterpoint and fugue) and Traité d'harmonie théorique et pratique (on harmony) still being sometimes used today.