About Camille Saint-Saens
(1835-1921) Romantic Period – France
Saint-Saens possessed prodigious skills in music. At age two, he began piano lessons and it was discovered that he had perfect pitch. He wrote his first composition, a piece for piano, at the age of three. At 13, he began studies in organ and composition at the Paris Conservatory. From an early age he developed friendships with the likes of Georges Bizet, Franz Liszt and Hector Berlioz. Later in life his most famous pupil, Gabriel Faure, would become his closest friend. He championed the works of these “radical” composers, when studying Bach and Mozart was still the norm in France.
Saint-Saens composed in nearly all genres including opera, symphonies, concertos, songs, sacred and secular choral music, solo piano music, and chamber music. His most renowned works include The Carnival of the Animals, Danse macabre, the opera Samson and Delilah, and Symphony No. 3 (Organ Symphony).