Achille-Claude Debussy (22 August 1862 – 25 March 1918) was a French composer. Along with Maurice Ravel, he was one of the most prominent figures associated with Impressionist music, though he himself intensely disliked the term when applied to his compositions. In France, he was made Chevalier of the Legion of Honour in 1903. A crucial figure in the transition to the modern era in Western music, he remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers.
His music is noted for its sensory component and frequent eschewing of tonality. Debussy's work usually reflected the activities or turbulence in his own life. In French literary circles, the style of this period was known as symbolism, a movement that directly inspired Debussy both as a composer and as an active cultural participant.