Louis Durey

1888 (Paris) – 1979 (Saint-Tropez)

Koechlin, Schmitt and Roussel all encouraged Durey as a new talent. A relative latecomer to music, he was instrumental in forming the group ‘Nouveaux Jeunes’ with Auric and Honegger; the addition of Poulenc, Milhaud and Tailleferre expanded it into the group ‘Les Six’, with Satie a benign presence (he said they considered him a kind of mascot) and Cocteau as self-appointed ringmaster (Durey was not over-fond of him). Ravel was a respected personal friend, Radiguet and Laurencin fellow Saturday-night socialisers with the group. Milhaud and Cocteau pleaded with him to stay when, two years on, he retired to the Riviera.