So far, I have found scant biographical data about Paul [aka Pierre] Agricole [sometimes spelled Agricol] Genin. The librarian at the University of Washington Music Library claims he is a "minor composer" — but lists 64 Opuses by him. I’ve also been told that his Fantaisie & Variations on "Carnival of Venice" for Flute, Opus 14 is a showy but insubstantial piece — loved by audiences, a challenge for soloists, and loathed by accompanists. I’m part of that audience who loves the piece, and I particularly like the way Jean-Pierre Rampal runs through his octaves, double- and triple-tonguing, triplets, sextets, riffs and trills. He — with Futaba Inoue on piano — has spoiled me for any other version.
What little information I have on Paul Agricole Genin was sent to me by Susan Nelson, Bemidji State University, Bemidji, MN, who is a member of The Flute List on the Internet. Susan wrote:
The majority of sources, including the Library of Congress name authority file and older biographical works — like Adolph Goldberg’s compilation of flutists — give this composer’s name as Paul Agricole (sometimes Agricol) Genin. I had to do some research on Genin recently to confirm his dates and titles of some works, and found that the "Pauls" outnumber the "Pierres." I think the name conflict may have arisen from the fact that there was a later flutist named Pierre Gennin who, along with his brother Jean, was active as a performer in England in the twenties and thirties.
Note: Jean and Pierre Genin made many recordings of their own compositions in the late 20’s with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, under Dan Godfrey. In "live" concerts of the Bournemouth Symphony, Jean was the principal flute and Pierre their solo piccolo. Jean seems to have been the composer of the family. (They are not to be confused with — ahem — Paul A. Genin, the French flautist composer, second half 19th c.)
The following bits of information on Genin are from Goldberg’s Portrats und Biographien hervorragender Floten-Virtuosen, Dilettanten, und Komponisten (published in Berlin, 1906):
Paul Agricol Genin was born on 14th February 1832, in Avignon; died 22nd December 1903, in Paris, France.
He was the Principal flute of the Theatre Italien in Paris, and of the Colonne Orchestra.
He is also described as "Officier de l’Academie"; I don’t know whether this refers to the Academie Francaise.
I have a date of 1857 for Genin’s Carnival of Venice variations. That is from a library cataloging record, so it could possibly be a publication date, but it’s probably as close as one is likely to get without access to manuscript materials.