Francis Poulenc was born in Paris in 1899 into a passionately musical family. He very early started to study the piano, through he received no official instruction. At the age of 18, Poulenc triumphed with his Rhapsodie negre, and then produced his ravishing Mouvements perpetuels for piano. Along with Honegger, Auric, Milhaud, Durey and Tailleferre, he became a member of the celebrated Groupe des Six, thus baptised by Henri Collet. An excellent pianist, and composer of many works for the piano, Poulenc cultivated chamber music, writing some of this finest works for wind instruments, yet it is no doubt in the domain of vocal music that he gave the best of himself. Francis Poulenc died suddenly in Paris on 30 January 1963.