Camille Saint-Saëns was a French composer, organist, conductor, and pianist who lived during the Romantic era. He was a musical prodigy, giving his first concert at the age of ten. He followed a conventional career as a church organist and became the official organist of La Madeleine in Paris, the official church of the French Empire. Saint-Saëns was committed to the structures worked out by earlier French composers which brought him into conflict with the impressionist and expressionist schools of music. He held only one teaching post at the École de Musique Classique et Religieuse in Paris where he influenced Gabriel Fauré and Maurice Ravel. His best-known works include Danse Macabre, Samson and Delilah, and The Carnival of the Animals.