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Léon Boëllmann


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Léon Boëllmann (September 9, 1862, Ensisheim in the Alsace – October 11, 1897, Paris) was a French composer. His compositions include works for organ, piano, chamber music, songs, and church chorales.

Boëllmann was an early musical talent and was accepted in 1871—9 years old—at the Ecole Niedermeyer in Paris. His teachers included Eugène Gigout and Gustave Lefèvre. After his graduation as organist and cantor, he was employed as organist of the choir organ in the St Vincent de Paul church in Paris in 1881. Six years later he bacame cantor and “organiste titulaire” of the main organ in the same church. He would work at the church until his untimely death, probably from tuberculosis.

After the death of his parents his uncle Eugène Gigout adopted him. Gigout helped him when he established a school for organ, improvisation, and Gregorian chorale. Boëllmann wrote under a pseudonym for the magazine Art Musical. As pianist and organist he played all over Europe. His famous works include his Suite Gothique which is particularly well known because of the famous Toccata at the end of this organ suite.


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