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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 ''Music/SymphonieFantastique'', 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.")

!!Berlioz's life and music provide examples of
* {{Agent Peacock}} - Part of Berlioz's elaborate plan to kill Camille Molk, her fiance, and her mother, was to dress as a woman, complete with a dress and veil to be allowed into their home. Fortunately, he didn't carry it out.
* {{All Love Is Unrequited}} - One of the biggest themes in his life. His fell for his fist "goddess", Estelle, while only 12 while she was 18. Later he fell obsessively in love with Harriet Smithson. Even when he eventually did marry her years later she couldn't fully reciprocate his feelings. After his second wide, Marie, died, he had a short encounter with a young girl in her twenties. They both decided to separate and she died when only 27.
* {{Arcadia}} - Berlioz described his childhood home of La Cote as having fields of gold.
* {{Attention Whore}} Extremely biased and vitriolic critics accused him of writing controversial music only for attention, making this accusation {{Older Than Dirt}}.
* {{Badass Beard}} - More like a {{Badass Neckbeard}} when he was younger.
* {{Beethoven Was An Alien Spy}} - He presaged the modern orchestra and Hollywood music a century ahead. The Witches Sabbath of the Fantastic Symphony "zooms in" at different demons in the Satanic procession. The Childhood of Christ's final moments seem draw away from the holy family and close the curtain. Such cinematic features can be seen in a lot of his other works.
* {{Black Sheep}} - He was the only person in his known family history to pursue music. This caused a lot of problems with his father, who wanted him to be a doctor and heir to his estate, carrying on the family tradition. Even when Berlioz became a successful composer, his father could never be completely happy because Berlioz broke away from the family line.
* {{Bright Lights Big City}} - Paris and London
* {{Obstructive Bureaucrat}} - The officials of Paris' musical institutions embodied this trope. Many times Berlioz could not conduct because the official's wouldn't give the theatre and concert hall to him. The worst offense was Napoleon III delaying The Trojans for a few years by not even looking at the libretto.
* {{Bury Your Dead}} - Poor Berlioz buried his mother, father, two younger sisters, and both his wives. An especially grizzly scene from Berlioz himself recounts him exhuming his first wife (Harriet) from her grave to rebury her near his second wife.
* {{The Captain}} - Louis, his son, advanced to becoming captain of his own ship.
* {{Caustic Critic}} - {{Played Straight}} and {{Averted}}. He could write sarcastic, scathing reviews, demolishing mediocre composers. But compared to other critics, especially to the depths of slander, pettiness, and dishonesty they sank to, Berlioz is tame.
* {{Cheerful Child}} - Louis, his son, was energetic, playful, and affectionate.
* {{Corrupt Corporate Executive}} - The Parisian presidents of musical academies as well as actual bureaucrats and nobles. They were often complacent, petty, and disapproved of new composers and new music (at least according to Berlioz).
* {{Cult of Personality}} - The cult that festered around {{Wagner}} turned him off a lot and prevented him from enjoying Wagner's music as much as he could have. He especially took umbrage with the conceit that Wagner's music was "the music of the future", the only direction to take music and drama.
* {{Damned by Faint Praise}} His critiques of other composers was comparatively mild compared to the spiteful vitriol of typical journalism of his day. Often he would use irony and sarcasm to point out flaws in other composers rather than browbeat the reader with invective, though he was pretty capable of that too.
* {{Darker and Edgier}} - His Damnation of Faust, opposed to {{Goethe}}'s, gives no hope for Faust's salvation. Faust is taken to Hell by Mephistopheles, rather than redeemed by Gretchen.
* DeathGlare: When he played the timpani at the premiere of his ''Music/SymphonieFantastique'', Harriett Smithson was present. Each time he hit the timpani, [[{{Yandere}} he looked at her with piercing eyes]].
* {{Death Seeker}} - Later in life he wanted death to take him, asking, "I'm ready. What are you waiting for?"
* {{Disneyfication}} - Berlioz's Damnation of Faust lacks the obscure philosophy as Goethe's does. Instead, it focuses on the love story between Faust and Gretchen. Nevertheless, it is DarkerAndEdgier.
* {{Door Stopper}} - both volumes of his monstrous biography by David Cairns. Reading both volumes may take almost a year or more.
* {{Driven to Suicide}} - Almost. Camille Molk, his girlfriend at the time, became the fiance of another man while he was in Rome. He planned to kill his girlfriend, the fiance, and her mother. Thankfully, it never actually happened.
* {{Drowning My Sorrows}} - Harriet, his first wife, became an alcoholic to cope with her frustrations, sadness, and isolation.
* {{Famous Last Words}} - "At last, they are going to play my music."
* {{Fiery Redhead}} - His hair was reddish blond or light auburn.
* {{Four Temperament Ensemble}} - Melancholic
* {{Friendly Enemies}} - With Wagner. They weren't enemies per se but they were often at odds with each other.
* {{Good Husband}} - To Harriet. He tried his best to restore her acting career and support her, even when she became dysfunctional and alcoholic.
* {{Grumpy Old Man}} - Later in life he became cynical and depressed. In his fuelletons against "the music of the future" he goes back to the old debates he had when he was younger.
* {{Blue Eyes}} - Other accounts say he had {{Grey Eyes}}.
* {{Haters Gonna Hate}} - Many critics attacked him for the controversial directions he took music and orchestration, sometimes in the most petty and narrow-minded ways. Nevertheless, Berlioz kept writing music the way he wanted.
* {{Henpecked Husband}} - To Marie, his second wife. She managed his affairs well but was frequently jealous, arrogant, and overbearing.
* {{Heroic BSOD}} - When his son died. He almost became vegetative.
* {{Holy Trinity}} - Shakespeare, Gluck, and Beethoven
* {{Lighter and Softer}} - Beatrice and Benedict, based on Shakespeare's {{Much Ado About Nothing}}, lacks the villains and near catastrophe as in the play. It instead focuses on the psychologies and repartee of the two protagonists.
* {{Like an Old Married Couple}} - When he got into a close friendship of sorts with Estelle... after last seeing her for FOURTY YEARS.
* {{Lone Ranger}} - Though Berlioz was part of a larger progressive intellectual circle of Romantics (like Victor Hugo and Delacroix), he was practically fighting a one-man war against the musical establishment.
* {{Love And Death}} - The core themes of his life and works.
* {{Love Triangle}} - He loved Camille Molk, his one-time girlfriend, but she later ditched him for another man. Another sort of love triangle existed when he was seeing Marie while his marriage with Harriet was deteriorating.
* {{Murder the Hypotenuse}} more like murder the whole {{Love Triangle}}.
* {{Odd Man Out}} - He was a "freak" even by Romantic standards. While London and Germany (especially Germany) advanced in composition and orchestration, Paris remained stagnant and philistine. Berlioz was one of the few great French composers, so he was in a way a constant foreigner. His French status and refusal to embrace the "music of the future" were reasons why he was swept under the rug while Liszt and Wagner were venerated in history.
* {{The Ophelia}} - Harriet, oh so much...
* OutlivingOnesOffspring - Louis's death was a devastating blow to Berlioz and he survived only a few years after.
* OverprotectiveDad - He constantly fretted about his son's health and finances when his son was out at sea.
* {{Prodigal Son}} - Louis often squandered his father's money as a teen and young man, driving Berlioz crazy. He eventually grew out of it.
* {{Pyrrhic Victory}} - He may have won a few opportunities to perform his works in Paris, but Paris society remained the same in their tastes.
* {{Requiem}} - His two great requiems, The Grand Mass des Morts and Te Deum, are massive architectural works. However, there are subtle differences between them. The Grand Mass is more cinematic and emotionally evocative while Te Deum is more formal and has more subtle orchestration.
* {{Stalker With A Crush}} - To Harriet Smithson. He got better.
* {{Starving Artist}} - A constant threat. In his youth he lived in attics and small apartments, eating little, and taking odd jobs. Even when he married and established himself as a famous composer, debts always loomed near.
* {{Straw Nihilist}} - Some Historians and biographers interpret the aging Berlioz as this, though this is not completely justified. Berlioz could be very gloomy but there are many accounts of him being lively and engaging even at the darkest times.
* {{This Has Gone Too Far For Me}} - His opinion of "the music of the future": Wagner's and Liszt's later music. To him they sacrificed coherence and beauty to be as shocking as possible.
* {{Troubled Childhood}} - As a child Louis witnessed his mother's descent into alcoholism and the deterioration of his parents' marriage. He was sent to boarding schools where he had difficulty in schoolwork.
* {{Troubled Teen}} - Again, Louis.
* {{Tsundere}} Definitely counts as this. His flaming passions were counterbalanced by strong rational and skeptical abilities. He examined his own feelings the same way biologists examine a petri dish. He was quiet and thoughtful but could become very temperamental. Harriet and Marie count also, judging by Harriet's mood swings and Marie's haughty demeanor.
* {{Unreliable Narrator}} - Berlioz himself in his Memoirs was suspected of this. Some early readers of the Memoirs even wondered if he was lying about everything.
* "Well Done, Son!" Guy - Berlioz deeply wanted to make his father proud of him. But his father never once heard his music.
* What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs? - Berlioz may have written Fantastic Symphony while on opium.
* {{Yandere}} - Went AxCrazy when he learned Camille cheated on him and was about to marry another man.
* {{Your Cheating Heart}} - Camille Molk ditched Berlioz for another man while he was away in Rome. This was more than likely due to the influence of Camille's mother, who intensely distrusted Berlioz ever since Berlioz and Camille eloped for a while. Berlioz eventually forgave Camille for her betrayal, but never her mother.