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Claude Balbastre was a French composer, organist, harpsichordist and fortepianist. He was one of the most famous musicians of his time.

Balbastre's father, Bénigne, a church organist in Dijon, had 18 children from two marriages; Claude was the 16th. Three of his brothers were also named Claude. He received his first music lessons from his father, then became a pupil of Claude Rameau, the younger brother of Jean-Philippe Rameau, the most famous French musician at the time and also a native of Dijon.

Balbastre settled in Paris in 1750 and studied there with Pierre Février, whom he succeeded as organist of the Saint Roch church. Jean-Philippe Rameau helped and protected Balbastre when he settled in the city, so Balbastre was quickly and efficiently introduced to the Parisian musical circles and high society, and made a brilliant career: he played at the Concert Spirituel until 1782, became organist of the Notre-Dame cathedral and of the Chapelle Royale, became harpsichordist to the French royal court where he taught queen Marie-Antoinette, and became organist for Louis-Stanislas-Xavier, Count of Provence, who later became Louis XVIII, King of France. Balbastre's fame was so great that the Archbishop of Paris, Christophe de Beaumont had to forbid him to play at Saint Roch during some of the services, because the churches were always crowded when Balbastre played.

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Claude Balbastre was a French composer, organist, harpsichordist and fortepianist. He was one of the most famous musicians of his time.

Balbastre's father, Bénigne, a church organist in Dijon, had 18 children from two marriages; Claude was the 16th. Three of his brothers were also named Claude. He received his first music lessons from his father, then became a pupil of Claude Rameau, the younger brother of Jean-Philippe Rameau, the most famous French musician at the time and also a native of Dijon.

Balbastre settled in Paris in 1750 and studied there with Pierre Février, whom he succeeded as organist of the Saint Roch church. Jean-Philippe Rameau helped and protected Balbastre when he settled in the city, so Balbastre was quickly and efficiently introduced to the Parisian musical circles and high society, and made a brilliant career: he played at the Concert Spirituel until 1782, became organist of the Notre-Dame cathedral and of the Chapelle Royale, became harpsichordist to the French royal court where he taught queen Marie-Antoinette, and became organist for Louis-Stanislas-Xavier, Count of Provence, who later became Louis XVIII, King of France. Balbastre's fame was so great that the Archbishop of Paris, Christophe de Beaumont had to forbid him to play at Saint Roch during some of the services, because the churches were always crowded when Balbastre played. More...

 
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