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Francois Devienne arrived in Paris in 1779 as a bassoonist and played bassoon and flute regularly at the Concert Spirituel and in theatre orchestras, besides serving from time to time in military bands.
He gained success as a composer of operas comiques (Le Visitandines, 1792). From 1792 he taught at the new Conservatoire.
He died in a home for the mentally ill.