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Louis Couperin (c. 1626 – 29 August 1661) was a French Baroque composer and performer. He was born in Chaumes-en-Brie and moved to Paris in 1650–1651 with the help of Jacques Champion de Chambonnières. Couperin worked as organist of the Church of St. Gervais in Paris and as musician at the court. He quickly became one of the most prominent Parisian musicians, establishing himself as a harpsichordist, organist, and violist, but his career was cut short by his early death at the age of thirty-five.
Couperin was born around 1626 in Chaumes-en-Brie, a town 40 km south-east of Paris. His father, Charles Couperin, sieur de Crouilly, was a small landowner and part-time organist of a local church. Louis was reportedly an accomplished harpsichordist and violinist by 1650 (and was already composing by then), but had no connections whatsoever with any important musicians of the era. His sudden rise to fame, which happened during 1650–1651, is explained in Le Parnasse François.
Couperin's first published work was a collection of harpsichord pieces called Les pièces de clavecin (1656). This collection was a critical and commercial success, and established Couperin as one of the leading composers of harpsichord music in France. He followed this up with a second collection of harpsichord pieces in 1661, just a few months before his death.
Couperin's music is characterized by its elegant melodies, graceful rhythms, and sophisticated harmonies. He was a master of the harpsichord, and his music is often virtuosic in nature. He also wrote a number of organ pieces, as well as some vocal music.
Couperin's early death was a great loss to French music. He was one of the most talented composers of his generation, and his music had a profound influence on later composers, such as François Couperin, his nephew.