Camille Saint-Saëns (born on October 9th 1835 in Paris), who began his musical career as a piano prodigy, is regarded as one of the most important composers of French classicism. In France, his symphonic striving for a cool, technically perfect classical form was not understood. He was more successful in Germany, where he was long supported by his patron, Franz Liszt. Saint-Saëns' works cover virtually every genre: from grand opera ("Samson et Dalila" attracted considerable attention) to symphonies and solo concerti all the way to chamber and organ music. On his travels throughout Europe he spread the popularity of his works as conductor and pianist. Besides this, he also wrote essays and articles on philosophy and astronomy, authored poems and edited editions of the works of Rameau and Gluck. He died on December 16th 1921 in Algiers.