Hector Berlioz (11 December 1803 -- 8 March 1869) was a French composer, conductor and [[CausticCritic music critic]] of the Romantic Era. [[LoveItOrHateIt An extremely controversial figure]] for the direction he took his composition, [[NeverAcceptedInHisHometown Berlioz had difficulty having his works performed in France]], the story of which is told colourfully (though with exaggerations) in his ''Memoirs''. He fared somewhat better abroad as his tours in Germany, Russia and England were relatively successful. [[Music/RobertSchumann Schumann]] was enthusiastic about his music, and [[Music/FranzLiszt Liszt]] was one of his champions.

A Shakespeare {{fanboy}}, Berlioz wrote several opera based on the Bard's works such as RomeoAndJuliet and MuchAdoAboutNothing (under the title ''Beatrice and Benedict''). His best known work is ''Symphonie Fantastique'', an early example of programme music, and one of the first examples of a [[WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs psychedelic symphony.]] (Really, the programme to that work mentions a "sensitive artist" who "poisons himself with opium in a fit of despair.")