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Sauguet's grave next to André Jolivet's one

Henri Sauguet (18 May 1901 - 22 June 1989), was a French composer. Born Henri-Pierre Poupard in Bordeaux, he adopted his mother's maiden name as his pseudonym.

He started learning the piano when he was just five years old, being taught by his mother, Elisabeth, and also Marie Brodier. Later he was taught by Mrs. Loureau of Pagesse, the organist of the church Sainte-Eulalie of Bordeaux. Sacred music and especially organ arrangements, influenced him for the rest of his life.

The mobilization of his father in 1914 required him to earn a living at a very young age. Because of this, he become employed by the Prefecture of Montauban in 1919-1920 at which time he formed a friendship with Joseph Canteloube. Together they collected and harmonized traditional songs under the title Chants d'Auvergne (Songs of Auvergne).

Returning to Bordeaux, he formed Groupe des Trois (the Group of Three) along with Louis Emié and Jean-Marcel Lizotte, with the hope of creating the best music of all time. Their first concert took place on 12 December 1920. The concert began with performances by Groupe des Six (Georges Auric, Louis Durey, Arthur Honegger, Germaine Tailleferre, Darius Milhaud and Francis Poulenc), followed by "Erik Satie and the Groupe des Trois with Henri Sauguet", playing Sauguet's Danse nègre and Pastorale pour piano.

In October 1921, encouraged by Darius Milhaud, Sauguet moved to Paris to study with Charles Koechlin while working as a secretary at the Guimet Museum. In 1923, four young musicians: Henri Pawl-Pleyel, Roger Desormière, Maxime Jacob and Henri Sauguet formed Ecole d'Arcueil (the School of Arcueil). With support from Satie, who continued to influence Sauguet, they had their first concert on 25 October 1923 at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées.

In 1924, Erik Satie introduced Sauguet to Serge Diaghilev, the flamboyant impresario of the Ballets russes. Three years later, Diaghilev's company produced the ballet La Chatte (The Female Cat) with music by Sauguet, which premiered in Monte Carlo on April 30, 1927. The ballet is about a young man who falls in love with a cat, who assumes a human form through the intervention of Aphrodite. As they make love, the cat-woman sees a mouse and cannot resist chasing it, whereupon she changes back into a cat.

Henri Sauguet died in Paris and was buried in the Cimetière de Montmartre in the Montmartre Quarter.

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