Edgard Varèse (1883-1965) was a French-born American composer and musical innovator.
He studied composition with Vincent d'Indy, Albert Roussel and Charles Widor, what he was encouraged to by Romain Rolland and Claude Debussy. In 1907 he went to Berlin, where he was influenced by Richard Strauss and Ferruccio Busoni. In 1915 he emigrated to the United States.
Varèse's music is dissonant, non-thematic and rhythmically asymmetrical; he imagined it as the sound bodies in the space. In the 1950s, when he finally got access to the electronic equipment for sound production, he concentrated on electronic music.
Varèse founded the International Guild of Composers in 1921 and the Pan-American Association of Composers in 1926.
Varèse's works include Hyperprism for wind instruments and percussion (1923); Ionisation for percussion, piano and two sirens (1931); and Density 21.5 for flute without accompaniment (1936). His Déserts (1954) uses sound recorded on tape. For Philips Pavilion at the World Fair in Brussels, he composed Poème électronique (1958) for a multi-speaker sound diffusion system.