Born: 1835, Paris, France
Died: 1921, Algiers, Algeria
"What gives Sebastian Bach and Mozart a place apart is that these two great expressive composers never sacrificed form to expression. As high as their expression may soar, their musical form remains supreme and all-sufficient."
A child prodigy, CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS was renowned as a virtuoso pianist of wide-ranging tastes. He was also a prolific composer, contributing to virtually every genre (including the short orchestral piece Hail! California, a souvenir of a 1915 visit to San Francisco). Perhaps his most popular piece today is The Carnival of the Animals, a witty extravaganza he tossed off while on vacation in Austria - he forbade performances of it during his lifetime, however, fearing for his reputation. His music is characterized by neo-classic clarity and balance, delivered with superb craftsmanship.