Open main menu


Les Apaches (or Société des Apaches) was a group of musicians, writers and artists which formed around 1900 in Paris, France. Members of the group included:

The name was taken up by the group after inadvertently bumping into a newspaper seller who exclaimed "Attention les apaches". They soon adapted the name, which literally refers to the Native American Apache tribe, but had the additional meaning in French of 'hooligans'. Ravel suggested that they adopt the first melody of Borodin's 2nd Symphony as their theme, an idea with which they all agreed. The group met each Saturday, most often at the home of Sordes; alternatively, they would meet at Klingsor's home.

The group had rallied around Claude Debussy's opera Pelléas et Mélisande at and after its controversial premiere.[1] Ravel dedicated the movements of his piano work Miroirs to members of the Apaches.

According to Stravinsky’s letters, he frequently visited Paris, staying at the home of his closest friend in the city, Maurice Delage. Delage helped him deliver manuscripts and set up interviews with the press. In a letter to Florent Schmitt, Stravinsky noted that for a time he only listened to the music of Schmitt and Ravel, along with Debussy.[2]


  1. ^ Donnellon, pp. 8–9; and Orledge, p. 65
  2. ^ Pasler, Jann. "Stravinsky and the Apaches." The Musical Times, vol. 123, no. 1672, 1982, pp. 403–407. JSTOR, JSTOR,


  • Donnellon, Deirdre (2003). "French Music since Berlioz: Issues and Debates". In Richard Langham Smith; Caroline Potter (ed.). French Music since Berlioz. Aldershot, UK and Burlington, US: Ashgate. ISBN 978-0-7546-0282-8.
  • Orledge, Robert (1982). Debussy and the Theatre. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-22807-7.

Further readingEdit

  1. Apaches, at Maurice Ravel Frontispice, archived on 7 November 2017 at Wayback Machine from the original. [Retrieved 17 November 2008].
  2. "Maurice Ravel." Contemporary Musicians, Volume 25. Gale Group, 1999. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale. 2005.