1734 - 1829
French composer François-Joseph Gossec was born in Vergnies on January 17th 1734. He studied for many years under Jean-Philippe Rameau, having been a choirboy in Antwerp during his youth. Gossec followed the composer as he conducted a private orchestra, kept by his wealthy patron. During this period he began his output in earnest and wrote a number of works. In 1760, he premiered his Requiem that made him instantly famous. His focus in 1780 moved away from symphonies and towards operas causing his symphonic output to slow. His sacred choral music also formed a significant part of his output and was where he was most innovative, pre-empting some of the innovations of the Romantic period, in terms of his choice of instrumentation. He passed away ion February 16th 1829 in the Parisian suburb of Passy.