Camille Saint-Saëns

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Saint-Saëns, Camille


(Charles Camille Saint-Saëns). Born Oct. 9, 1835, in Paris; died Dec. 16, 1921, in Algiers; buried in Paris. French composer, pianist, conductor, music critic, and public figure. Member of the Institut de France (1881); recipient of an honorary doctorate from Cambridge University (1893); honorary member of the St. Petersburg branch of the Russian Musical Society (1909).

In 1848, Saint-Saëns entered the Paris Conservatory, where he studied with F. Benoist (organ) and F. Halévy (composition). He served as an organist in the cathedrals of Paris (1853–77) and taught piano at the Ecole Niedermeyer (1861–65), where G. Fauré and A. Messager were among his pupils. Saint-Saëns was among the organizers of the Société Nationale de Musique (1871). He gave concerts in many countries, including Russia (1875, 1887), performing as a pianist and conductor and presenting primarily his own works.

Saint-Saëns wrote many works in diverse genres. His most brilliant compositions were instrumental works, especially symphonies and virtuoso concerti. A bright lyricism and noble ardor prevail in his compositions, the most outstanding of which include the opera Samson et Dalila (1877, Weimar); the Symphony No. 3 (with organ, 1886); the symphonic poem Danse macabre (1874); the Concerto No. 3 for Violin (1880) and the Introduction et rondo capriccioso (1863) for violin and orchestra; the second, fourth, and fifth piano concerti (1868, 1875, and 1896); the Concerto No. 2 for Cello (1902); and the orchestral fantasy The Carnival of the Animals (1886). Saint-Saëns wrote many books on music, the most important of which are Harmony and Melody (1885) and Portraits and Reminiscences (1899). He edited various music publications, including the complete works of J.-P. Rameau and several operas by C. W. Gluck.


Rolland, R. “K. Sen-Sans.” In his book Muzykanty nashikh dnei, Sobr. soch., vol. 16. Leningrad, 1935.
Kremlev, Iu. K. Sen-Sans. Moscow, 1970.
Harding, J. Saint-Saëns and His Circle. London[1965].
References in periodicals archive ?
It will also include Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint Saens and songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Cats.
La seleccion de la musica ejecutada por la orquesta del Conservatorio se centra, asi mismo, en la exaltacion de la mexicanidad, pero encierra profecias que nadie se atreve a insinuar: Marche Heroique de Camille Saint Saens (1835-1921), Apotheose de la Grande Symphonie Funebre et Triomphale de Hector Berlioz (1803-1869), Marcha funebre de la opera Sigfrido de Richard Wagner (1813-1883) y, para rematar, el Himno Nacional.
Julian's weaved his music, set to lyrics by Berlie Doherty, around three classical pieces conjuring up witches, magic and death: Danse Macabre by Camille Saint Saens, Kikimora and The Enchanted Lake by Anatol Liadov and Sorcerer's Apprentice by Paul Dukas.