Born in Metz, France, Pierné went to study at the Paris Conservatoire from 1874-1882. He studied organ with César Franck and composition with Jules Massenet. Pierné won the Prix de Rome in 1882 for his cantata Edith. He succeeded Franck as organist at St. Clotilde in Paris from 1809- to 1898. Gabriel Pierné won distinction as a composer and as a conductor. He also directed the Concerts Colonne from 1910-1932. His compositions include opera, ballet, symphonic music, chamber music and solo literature for piano, as well as many songs.