Biography and History

Reynaldo Hahn was a French composer of the fin de siècle and intimate friend of Marcel Proust. Born in Caracas (Venezuela) to Elena María Echenaguera and the German merchant Carlos Hahn, Hahn grew up in Paris from age three. He attained instant fame in 1888 with his musical version of Si mes vers avaient des ailes, a poem by Victor Hugo. A French citizen since 1909, Hahn was forced into hiding during the Nazi occupation of Paris. He returned to the city in 1945 and died there two years later.

Hélène Vacaresco was a Romanian-French writer and laureate of the Académie française. She was a permanent delegate to the League of Nations in 1925-26 and the only woman to serve with the rank of ambassador (permanent delegate).

Source: From the finding aid for C1386