Pugno, Stephane Raoul
Brilliant French pianist and composer; born at Montrouge, near Paris. He studied at the Paris Conservatory, and won the first prizes in piano, harmony and organ in 1866, 1867 and 1869. He was organist of Saint Eugene from 1872 to 1892, and for the next four years he taught harmony at the Conservatory and piano there from 1896 to 1901. He has written a number of pieces for the stage: the fairy play, Le fee Cocotte, Melusine, Les Pauvres Gens, and other light works; the comic operas, Ninetta, Le Sosie, Le Valet de Cceur, and Le Retour d'Ulysse; the vaudeville operetta, La petite Poucette; the pantomime, La Danseuse de Corde; the mimodrame, Pour le Drapeau; and the ballets, Les Papillons, Viviane, and Le Chevalier aux Fleurs. He is known chiefly as a pianist, however. He made his London debut in 1894, and toured the United States with Ysaye in the season of 1897-1898. In 1907 he visited England, and appears frequently at Brussels, where he played for the Ysaye concerts of the season of 1907-1908. His playing is refined and exquisite, combining delicacy of touch with boldness and dash.