Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns was a French composer, organist, conductor and pianist of the Romantic era. His best-known works include Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, the Second Piano Concerto, the First Cello Concerto, Danse macabre, the opera Samson and Delilah, the Third Violin Concerto, the Third Symphony and The Carnival of the Animals.\nSaint-Saëns was a musical prodigy, making his concert debut at the age of ten. After studying at the Paris Conservatoire he followed a conventional career as a church organist, first at Saint-Merri, Paris and, from 1858, La Madeleine, the official church of the French Empire. After leaving the post twenty years later, he was a successful freelance pianist and composer, in demand in France, mainland Europe, Britain, and the Americas.\nAs a young man, Saint-Saëns was enthusiastic for the most modern music of the day, particularly that of Schumann, Liszt and Wagner, although his own compositions were generally within a conventional classical tradition. He was a scholar of musical history, and remained committed to the structures worked out by earlier French composers.