The French composer and organist César Auguste Jean Guillaume Hubert Franck was born on December 10, 1822 in Liège, then part of the Kingdom of the United Netherlands. He died in Paris on November 8, 1890. December 2022 will be his 200th birthday.
After the family moved to Paris, César Franck received music lessons there and was admitted to the Paris Conservatory in 1837. In 1846 he got a job as organist at the church of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette and from 1851 to 1858 at Saint-Jean-Saint-François. In 1857 he first became “maître de chapelle” and in 1858 finally titular organist at Ste-Clotilde. In 1872 he was appointed professor of organ at the Paris Conservatory, where his students included Vincent d’Indy, Henri Duparc and Guillaume Lekeu.
César Franck was a co-founder of the Société Nationale de Musique in 1871 and was later elected its president. In 1885 he became a Knight of the Legion of Honour.
As a composer, César Franck initially wrote piano music with little success. It was only when he took up his position at the church of Ste-Clotilde that he began to write music for the organ. Above all, he had the “simple organists” in mind, who had to arrange the service Sunday after Sunday. For them he composed numerous shorter pieces, which were published in two anthologies entitled “L’Organiste”. He only wrote his best-known works today in the last years of his life.
The video shows the cathedral organist Matthias Maierhofer on the choir organ of the Freiburg Minster, performing César Franck’s “Prélude, Fugue et Variation op. 18”.
On October 14, 2022, Rorie Katz, Chief Designer at the United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA), Sergio Baradat, Artistic Director of UNPA, acclaimed photographer Bob Gruen and Jayson Kerr, member of Motivgruppe Musik, met at an iconic location at Central Park, New York City. No other location would have been better suited for the presentation of the Yehudi Menuhin Trophy 2022 than the Imagine Circle, the memorial for John Lennon.
Most popular music stamp 2021: The UNPA issue for the 50th anniversary of John Lennon’s Peace Hymn “Imagine”, based on the iconic photograph by Bob Gruen (1974).
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