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Garat, Pierre-Jean

GARAT, PIERRE-JEAN (1764-1823), French singer, nephew of Dominique Joseph Garat, was born in Bordeaux on the 25th of April 1764. Gifted with a voice of exceptional timbre and compass he devoted himself, from an early age, to the cultivation of his musical talents. On account of his manifesting a distaste for the legal profession, for which his father wished him to study, he was deprived of his allowance, but through the patronage of a friend he obtained the office of secretary to Comte d'Artois, and was afterwards engaged to give musical lessons to the queen of France. At the beginning of the Revolution he accompanied Rode to England, where the two musicians appeared together in concerts. He returned to Paris in 1794. After the Revolution he became a professional singer, and on account of a song which he had composed in reference to the misfortunes of the royal family he was thrown into prison. On regaining his liberty he went to Hamburg, where he at once achieved extraordinary success; and by his subsequent appearances in Paris, and his visits to Italy, Spain, Germany and Russia, he made for himself a reputation as a singer unequalled by any other of his own time. He was a keen partisan of Gluck in opposition to Handel. On the institution of the Conservatoire de Musique he became its professor of singing. He also composed a number of songs, many of which have considerable merit. He died on the 1st of March 1823 in Paris.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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