Delaborde, Elie (Miriam) (né Elie Miriam)

views updated

Delaborde, Elie (Miriam) (né Elie Miriam)

Delaborde, Elie (Miriam) (né Elie Miriam) , eccentric French pianist, pedagogue, and composer; b. Paris, Feb. 8, 1839; d. there, Dec. 9, 1913. Though no official documents exist to authenticate the claim, evidence is substantial that he was the natural son of Charles-Valentin Alkan , his teacher, and Lina Eraim Miriam, a lady of means. He also studied with Moscheles and Henselt, and subsequently made successful tours of England, Germany, and Russia. During the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, he fled with 121 parrots and cockatoos (later also kept 2 apes, named Isidore and Sara, in his apartment) to London, where he introduced some of his father’s works for piano with pedalier. In 1873 he was appointed prof, of piano at the Paris Cons., numbering among his students Olga Samaroff. He was reputed to have had an affair with Bizet’s wife, which was substantiated by the announcement of their marriage shortly following Bizet’s death. Indeed, he was a close friend of Bizet, having been his swimming companion in the Seine when Bizet caught his fatal illness. He wrote an Opéra-Comique, La Reine dort, an overture, Attila, a Piano Quintet, 12 Preludes, Etudes, and Fantaisies for Piano, and a number of songs.


R. Smith, Alkan: The Enigma (London, 1976).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

About this article

Delaborde, Elie (Miriam) (né Elie Miriam)

Updated About content Print Article