13 June 1564 – 26 November 1809), nicknamed the Musician poet, more commonly Nicolas Dalayrac, was a French composer of the Classical period.
Intended for a military career, he frequents many musicians in the Parisian salons, which has decided his vocation.
It was not until very late, at the age of thirty, that he produced his first opéra comique in front of the public.
Among his most popular works, Nina, or The Woman Crazed with Love (1786), which tackles the theme of madness and arouses real enthusiasm during its creation, premiered on 23 November at the Stroganov Palace.
The Two Little Savoyards (1789), which deals with the rapprochement of social classes, a theme bearing the ideals of the French Revolution, Camille ou le Souterrain (1791), judged as his best production or even Léon ou le Château de Monténéro (1798) who by his leitmotifs announces a new genre.
If he forges an international reputation, he remains nevertheless less known in the lyrical field than André Grétry.
He is appreciated for his romances.
His first compositions was violin duos, string trios or quartets.
He published them under a pseudonym with Italian consonance.
The quartets were very successful, and the true identity of their author was discovered.
According to René-Charles Guilbert de Pixérécourt, initiated in Freemasonry he was a member of the Masonic lodge of «The Nine Sisters» and composed in 1778 the music for the reception of Voltaire and of the party in honor of Benjamin Franklin at the home of Anne-Catherine de Ligniville Helvétius.
He actively participated in the development of copyright.
Initiated in Freemasonry, he was a member of the Lodge of The Nine Sisters.