Delvincourt was born in Paris, the son of Pierre Delvincourt and Marguerite Fourès.
He studied at the Paris Conservatoire, first under Leon Boëllmann, then Henri Busser. He was also taught counterpoint and fugue by Georges Caussade and composition by Charles Marie Widor. He won the Prix de Rome in 1910 and 1913 (when he shared it with Lili Boulanger). He was later appointed Director of Conservatoire at Versailles in 1932 and Director of the Paris Conservatoire in 1940, following the resignation of Henri Rabaud.
During the German occupation of France, Delvincourt was forced to apply the racial laws of the Vichy government to the Paris Conservatoire, excluding Jewish professors and students. But he managed, with the help of Marie-Louise Boëllmann, to avoid many students to join the STO (law of 16 February 1943). He gathered the young musicians in the Orchestre des Cadets du Conservatoire and convinced the German authorities that they were doing their duties by this way. Meanwhile Delvincourt joined the Front national des musiciens. Furthermore, he "did all he could to protect his flock, never asking for papers and always trying to hide illegal students.", succeeded in saving many students and was threatened by the Gestapo. He was forced to disappear until the end of the Military occupation.
- Demuth, Norman (June 1954). "Claude Delvincourt". Musical Times 95 (1336): 330
- Schnapper-Flender, Laure (July 1999). "La vie musicale sous l'Occupation". Vingtième Siècle. Revue d'histoire 63: 142
- Rampal, Jean-Pierre (1989). "Music, My Love". Chapter 4: Music by Default : page 43
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