Franck, César Auguste (sāzärˈ ōgüstˈ fräNk) [key], 1822–90, Belgian-French composer and organist. He studied at the conservatories of Liège and Paris, taking prizes in piano, composition, and organ. In 1858 he became organist of Ste Clotilde, Paris, where he demonstrated great skill in the art of improvisation. From 1872 until his death, he was professor of organ at the Paris Conservatory, where he exercised a strong influence on an entire generation of composers. His music is highly distinctive, rooted in the polyphonic and chromatic techniques of Bach. Among his most significant works are the Symphony in D minor (1886–88); Variations symphoniques (1885) for piano and orchestra; and Trois Chorals (1890) for organ.
See biography by L. Davies (1970, repr. 1977).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.