Adolphe Adam was a French composer and music critic, the son of prominent composer and professor at the Paris Conservatoire. As a child, he preferred to improvise music on his own rather than study music seriously. Interestingly, his father (both a pianist and teacher) was firmly set against the idea of his son following in his footsteps. Adam was determined, however, and studied and composed secretly under the tutelage of his older friend Ferdinand Hérold, a popular composer of the day. When Adam was 17, his father relented, and he was permitted to study at the Paris Conservatoire.
Adam entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1821, where he studied organ and harmonium under the celebrated opera composer François-Adrien Boieldieu. He would go on to become a prolific composer of operas and ballets, known best today for his ballet Giselle. Adam was also a noted teacher who taught Delibes and other influential composers.
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