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Louis Ganne

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Louis Ganne


Gustave Louis Ganne (5 April 1862, Buxieres-les-Mines, France - 13 July 1923, Paris) was one of the leading composers of light music in France during his lifetime.

He spent most of his youth in the Brothers of St. Nicholas School, where he became attached to music. Brother Engelbert gave him his first lessons and later entrusted him to Theodore Dubois, who enrolled him at the Paris Conservatory. While there, Ganne studied composition with Jules Massenet and organ with Cesar Franck. At age 17, Ganne wrote Happy Mass for his school, and the manuscript for this music is retained by the brothers of the school.

Soon after leaving the conservatory, Ganne made a name for himself with his compositions: marches, waltzes, mazurkas, and many other types of music. He is best remembered for his theatrical works, first his ballets and later the operettas. Among his ballets, the most successful were Phyrneand Le Princess au Sabbat. His operettas, Les Saltimbanques, Hans le jouer de Flute, and Rhodope et Cocerico, were popular in their era.

Ganne was also a highly competent conductor in the theaters of Paris and later in Monte Carlo. In Monte Carlo, he established a series of extremely popular orchestral presentations known as Les Concerts de Louis Ganne. In 1901, he was elected president of the Societé des Auteurs, Compositeurs et Editeurs de Musique. The French government later presented him with the Legion of Honor with extra orders.

Ganne is most recognized today for his popular patriotic marches, Le Père la Victoire and La Marche Lorraine. He also composed for the ballet, including the 1902 ballet In Japan. He is less well-known outside his native France, and his many operettas are now rarely performed. His most successful light opera is the circus musical Les Saltimbanques (The Acrobats), from 1899.

Ganne was loved and admired by those who knew him, because of his character and prodigious talent. He died in Paris on July 13, 1923. Some sources list Ganne’s death date as July 14, 1923.

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