200 Years – César Franck

César-Auguste Jean-Guillaume Hubert Franck was born 200 years ago (1822-1890). He was a Romantic composer, pianist, organist, and music teacher who worked in Paris during his adult life.

He studied privately in Paris from 1835, where his teachers included Anton Reicha. He lived the majority of his professional live in France where he gained a reputation as a formidable musical improviser, and travelled widely to demonstrate new instruments built by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll.

In 1858, he became organist at the Basilica of St. Clotilde, Paris, a position he retained for the rest of his life. He became professor at the Paris Conservatoire in 1872. As a professor he wrote several pieces that have entered the standard classical repertoire, including symphonic, chamber, and keyboard works.

This year, LYPCO is giving two £50 prizes for the best performances of a piece written by Cesar Franck.