Charles-Marie Jean Albert Widor (February 21, 1844 ? March 12, 1937) was a French organist, composer and teacher. Widor was born in Lyon, France to a family of organ builders, and initially studied music there with his father, who was an organist himself. The French organ builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, reviver of the art of organ building, was a friend of the Widor family: he arranged for the talented young organist to study in Brussels, with Jacques-Nicolas Lemmens for organ technique and with François-Joseph Fétis, director of the Brussels Conservatoire for composition.
In 1870, with the combined lobbying of Cavaillé-Coll, Charles Gounod and Camille Saint-Saëns, the 24-year-old Widor was appointed as organist of Saint-Sulpice in Paris, the most prominent position for a French organist. The organ at St-Sulpice was Cavaillé-Coll's masterwork; the instrument's spectacular capabilities proved an inspiration to Widor. Widor remained as organist at St-Sulpice for 64 years until the end of 1933. He was succeeded in 1934 by his former student Marcel Dupré. Meanwhile, in 1890 he succeeded César Franck as organ professor at the Paris Conservatoire, where he also became composition professor in 1896.