César-Auguste-Jean-Guillaume-Hubert Franck (10 December 1822 – 8 November 1890) was born at Liège, in what is now Belgium (though at the time of his birth it was under the Netherlands’ control). In that city he gave his first concerts in 1834. He studied privately in Paris from 1835, where his teachers included Anton Reicha. After a brief return to Belgium, and a disastrous reception to an early oratorio Ruth, he moved to Paris, where he married and embarked on a career as teacher and organist. He gained a reputation as a formidable improviser, and travelled widely in France to demonstrate new instruments built by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll.
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