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A student of Camille Saint-Saëns, he served as the organist of Saint-Augustin Church in Paris for 62 years. He became known as a teacher. Also, his output as a composer was large and of high quality. Renowned as an expert improviser, he also founded his own music school. His nephew-by-marriage, Leon Boëllmann, became another fine organist and composer for the organ (but died at the very young age of 35).
The 10 pièces pour orgue, composed in 1890, are Gigout's most famous compositions. They are the Toccata in B minor, his best-known composition, which turns up as a common encore at organ concerts. Also fairly often performed, and to be found in the same collection, is a Scherzo in E major. Other compositions by Gigout sometimes played nowadays are Grand Choeur Dialogué and Marche Religieuse. Gigout's works are now available on many commercial recordings.