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Vieuxtemps, Henri

VIEUXTEMPS, HENRI (1820-1881), Belgian violinist and composer, was born at Venders, on the 20th of February 1820. Until his seventh year he was a pupil of Lecloux, but when De Beriot heard him he adopted him as his pupil, taking him to appear in Paris in 1828. From 1833 onwards he spent the greater part of his life in concert tours, visiting all parts of the world with uniform success. He first appeared in London at a Philharmonic concert on the 2nd of June 1834, and in the following year studied composition with Reicha in Paris, and began to produce a long series of works, full of formidably difficult passages, though also of pleasing themes and fine musical ideas, which are consequently highly appreciated by violinists. From 1846 to 1852 he was solo violinist to the tsar, and professor in the conservatorium in St Petersburg. From 1871 to 1873 he was teacher of the violin class in the Brussels Conservatoire, but was disabled by an attack of paralysis in the latter year, and from that time could only superintend the studies of favourite pupils. He died at Mustapha, in Algiers, on the 6th of June 1881. He had a perfect command of technique, faultless intonation and a marvellous command of the bow. His staccato was famous all over the world, and his tone was exceptionally rich and full.

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

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