Maeterlinck, Maurice (1862–1949) By Baetens, Jan
Maurice Maeterlinck was a Flemish francophone writer, who spent most of his life in France and whose prolific oeuvre entails poetry, plays, and essays. In 1911 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, mainly for his merits in the field of symbolist playwriting and his reputation as a man of great wisdom. However, his contemporary reputation also stems from the musical compositions that appeared around 1900 having been inspired by some of his dramas. Take the musical compositions inspired by his Pelléas and Mélisande (1892, first performed in 1893): an orchestral suite by Gabriel Fauré; an opera by Claude Debussy; a symphonic poem by Arnold Schoenberg; and a suite by Jean Sibelius.