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Charles-François Gounod (June 18, 1818 – October 18, 1893) was a French composer, best known for his Ave Maria as well as his operas Faust and Roméo et Juliette.

Gounod was born in Paris, the son of a pianist mother and a draftsman father. His mother was his first piano teacher. Under her tutelage, Gounod first showed his musical talents. He entered the Paris Conservatoire where he studied under Fromental Halévy.


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