French composer Louis Théodore Gouvy was born on 3 July 1819 in Goffontaine on the Franco-Prussian border, and became divided between the two cultures of France and Germany. He studied music privately, as an adult, in Paris (where he made friends with Adolphe Adam) and Berlin.
Gouvy was the author of more than two hundred compositions, including nine symphonies, and his ambition was to become known as a French symphonist. Berlioz, Brahms, Carl Reinecke and Joseph Joachim thought highly of Gouvy's music. He became reasonably well-known during his lifetime (except in France, where they were more interested in opera), but became largely forgotten after his death on 21 April 1898, until being rediscovered at the end of the twentieth century.