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Franck, César, 1822-1890



  • Existence: December 10, 1822 - November 8, 1890


In October 1830 Franck began his musical training at the Liège Conservatoire, and from 1833 to 1835 he studied harmony with the director, Daussoigne, a nephew of Méhul who had taught at the Paris Conservatoire. Although Franck did show potential as a composer, it was as a pianist that he began to draw a lot of attention from his professors. Encouraged by these academic successes his father organized a series of concerts in Liège, Brussels, and Aachen in spring 1835. The success of these concerts eventually earned him admission to the Paris Conservatory in 1837; Franck was 15 years old at the time. He remained at school for five years before attempting a career as a touring pianist. During this three year period, Franck composed his Trios Op. 1, which was received well by the public, and amongst the compositional world as its purchasers included Liszt, Meyerbeer, and Chopin. Although the autograph on the card contains no date, the information provided hints to an approximation. After several church appointments, Franck eventually secured a job at basilica of Ste. Clotilde in 1859 where he remained organist until his death in 1890. Due to his success as an organist, he was eventually offered the job as professor of organ at the Conservatoire de Musique in 1871 where he remained until his death. Although he achieved much success as a performer throughout his life, it was not until the late 1870’s that he finally began to achieve success as a composer. This success was due in part to his students, including Vincent d’Indy, who relentlessly promoted his music throughout Paris.