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Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) was a French Romantic composer, pianist, organist, and teacher.Read More...
Born in Paris on 9th October 1835, Saint-Saëns was a child prodigy. He had lessons with Camille-Marie Stamaty and Alexandre Pierre François Boëly, going on to the Paris Conservatoire in 1848, where he was taught by Fromental Halévy .
He soon came to the notice - and earned the admiration of - such eminent composers as Charles Gounod, Gioacchino Rossini, Hector Berlioz, and Franz Liszt. He was appointed organist at the Madeleine (1857-1875), and taught at the École Niedermeyer from 1861 to 1865, Gabriel Fauré being one of his pupils.
Aside from these paid positions, Saint-Saëns was heavily involved in the musical world; he organised concerts of Liszt's symphonic poems, he worked to revive popular interest in earlier, especially Baroque, composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, and Jean-Philippe Rameau, but he also, on behalf of new French music, co-founded the Société Nationale de Musique in 1871. He also wrote on music, science, and history, and often travelled around Europe, North Africa, and South America.
Saint-Saëns was a virtuoso pianist and a prolific composer. His best-known work among general audience is Le carnaval des animaux (1886), though he forbade performances of it in his lifetime, apart from "Le cygne".
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