(1835-1921), French composer, pianist, and organist, born in Paris. He made his debut as a
pianist at the age of ten and later studied organ and harmony at the Paris Conservatoire.
In 1853 he composed his first symphony, and from 1858 to 1877 he was organist at the
Church of the Madeleine in Paris. His most famous work was the opera Samson et Dalila
(1877). During the last part of his life Saint-SaŽns toured widely in North Africa and
the Americas. His music, which is written in the classical French tradition, is elegant
and precise in detail and form and combines the lyrical style common to 19th-century
French music with a more formal quality. He composed five piano concertos (all first
performed by himself) and three violin concertos. Among his other works are the symphonic
poems Le rouet d'Omphale (Omphale's Spinning Wheel, 1871) and Danse Macabre
(1874), the Third Symphony in C Minor (1886) for organ, piano, and orchestra, and the
suite for orchestra with two pianos, Le carnaval des animaux (Carnival of the
Animals, 1886). Gabriel
was one of his pupils.
Home | Back