E00768. Dubois, Théodore - signed note, Paris June 27, 1898, 4x6.
“Théodore Dubois studied first under Louis Fanart (the choirmaster at Reims cathedral) and later at the Paris Conservatoire under Ambroise Thomas. He won the Prix de Rome in 1861. In 1868, he became choirmaster at the Church of the Madeleine, and in 1871 took over from César Franck as choirmaster at the Basilica of Sainte-Clotilde. In 1877, Dubois returned to the Church of the Madeleine, succeeding Camille Saint-Saëns as organist there. From 1871 he taught at the Paris Conservatoire, where his pupils included Pierre de Bréville, Guillaume Couture, Gabrielle Ferrari, Gustave Doret, Paul Dukas, Achille Fortier, Xavier Leroux, Albéric Magnard, Édouard Risler, Guy Ropartz, Spyridon Samaras, and Florent Schmitt.
Dubois was director of the Conservatoire from 1896 (succeeding Thomas upon the latter's death) to 1905. He resigned two months before the refusal to award the Prix de Rome to Maurice Ravel; this created, nonetheless, a substantial public outcry against him, which was increased by an open letter from the novelist and musicologist Romain Rolland. Gabriel Fauré took over from Dubois as director.
Although he wrote many religious works, Dubois had considerable hopes for a successful career on the operatic stage. His fascination with Near-Eastern subjects lead to the composition to his first staged work, LA GUZLA DE L'ÉMIR, and his first four-act opera, ABEN-HAMET, which broke no new ground. His other large-scale opera, XAVIÈRE, has a wildly dramatic tale set in the rural Auvergne.
The music of Dubois also includes ballets, oratorios and three symphonies. His best known work is the oratorio LES SEPT PAROLES DU CHRIST ("The Seven Last Words of Christ" ), which continues to be given an occasional airing.”