Uproar as Paris refuses to honour a French composermain
The town hall of the 4th district of Paris has denied permission for a plaque on the outer wall of an apartment in the Ile S-Louis, where the composer Henri Dutilleux lived for most of his long life.
The reason for the refusal, given by Christophe Girard, Mayor of the 4th arrondissement, and Karen Taieb, a Paris councillor, is that Dutilleux was suspected of collaboration with the Nazi occupation.
This accusation has not been raised before. Dutilleux lived in Paris under the occupation as a teacher and musician. In 1942 he was named chorus director at the Paris Opéra. From 1945 he was head of music production at Radio France.
Among his many works are The Shadows of Time, a haunting memoir of the children deported by the Nazis, as well as concertos for a pair of resolutely anti-Nazi friends, Mstislav Rostropovich and Isaac Stern.
Eminent French musicians, led by the pianist Philippe Cassard and the composer Edith Canat de Chizy, have denounced the anti-Dutilleux decision, which seems to be based on party politics and historical illiteracy. They have launched a petition against the calumny here.
UPDATE: Dutilleux was, in fact, a member of the Résistance. Read here.