French composer of the Romantic era best remembered for compositions like Symphonie Fantastique and for his influential Treatise on Instrumentation.
Unlike many famous composers, he was not a child prodigy and did not begin studying music until the age of twelve.
He was also a well-known writer and music critic who wrote for publications like Debats.
His father, Louis-Joseph, was a respected physician.
His influence can be heard in the work of later composers like Richard Wagner.