Born in Aix-en-Provence, France, in 1892, Darius Milhaud was a prolific and highly original composer. At age seventeen, he left home to enter the Paris Conservatory where he trained originally as a violinist before turning to composition. Following his graduation he spent two years in Brazil, with light duties as secretary to the French Minister, Paul Claudel. Later, Milhaud captured his impressions of Brazilian music in his Souvenirs and Memories of Brazil, 1921.
Returning to Paris in 1918, he became a member of the creative group headed by Satie, Cocteau, and Picasso, which emphasized youth and audacity.