1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Philidor, François André Danican

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PHILIDOR, FRANÇOIS ANDRÉ DANICAN (1726-1795), French composer and chess-player, was born at Dreux, on the 7th of September 1726, of a musical family. The family name was Danican, but that of Philidor, added in the middle of the 17th century, eventually supplanted the older name. Frangois André received a musical education as a member of the corps of pages attached to the orchestra of the king; and subsequently he earned his living by giving lessons and copying music. Much of his time was, however, devoted to chess, at which he soon became an expert. He spent many years in travelling on the Continent and in England, meeting and defeating the most noted players of the time, and is regarded as the strongest player and greatest theoretician of the 18th century. Returning to France in 1754, he resolved to devote himself seriously to musical composition, and after producing several works of minor importance brought out at Paris, in the year 1759, his successful light opera, Blaise le Savetier, which was followed by a' number of others, notably Le Soldat magicien (1760), Le .Iardinier et son seigneur (1761), Le Sorcier (1762), and Tom Jones (1764). He died in London on the 31st of August 1795.