"Love of art does not depend on explanations -.
Achille-Claude Debussy was born on 22 August 1862 at 4:30 a.m. in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, a small town near Paris, France. His parents, Manuel-Achille Debussy and Victorine Manoury, owned a small china shop. Music was respected in this small town: concerts were held everywhere and all the time and the music ranged from Verdi to Gluck to Rossini (Dietcschy 5). In December 1871 when Claude was just nine years old, his father was tried for "revolutionary activities- and sentenced to four years in prison (Sadie 292). With her husband in prison and his safety in jeopardy (as the state of prisons was unstable and dangerous in the latter part of the 19th century), Mme. Debussy found herself in both a financially and socially difficult position. Her work as a seamstress didn't pull in enough money to support her and her four children, and she had to borrow money from friends and family (Nichols 295). Debussy rarely spoke about this dark period in his life, but it is important to know this part of his history as it was a driving force of ambition and left a stain on his view of anything of "official- nature (Dietcschy 15).
Despite these hardships, Debussy was naturally gifted as a musician at a very young age. In the same year that his father was imprisoned, Debussy was introduced to Mme. Mauté de Fleurville, who is/was rumored to be a former student of Chopin. She became his piano teacher free of charge and encouraged Mme. Debussy to steer her son towards a career as a piano virtuoso (Dietcschy 17). At the young age of 11, Debussy was accepted into the Paris Conservatoire. His first three years there were only notable by the fact that he was extremely young to be as gifted as he was; though he was considered to be weak at theory, his solfege teacher thought he was very gifted (Dietcschy 23). By his third year, Debussy was showing the signs of dissatisfaction with the accepted structure of music; this would later be his signature.