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BERNARD SARRETTE (1765—1858)

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Originally appearing in Volume V24, Page 223 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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BERNARD SARRETTE (1765—1858), founder of the Conservatoire National de Musique et de Declamation in Paris, was born in Bordeaux on the 27th of November 1765, and died in Paris on the 1th of April 1858. Forty-five musicians from the depot of the Gardes Fran9aises were gathered together by him after the x4th of July 1789, and formed the nucleus for the music of the Garde Nationale. In May 1790, the municipality of Paris increased the body to seventy-eight musicians. When the financial embarrassments of the commune necessitated the suppression of the paid guard, Sarrette kept the musicians near him and obtained from the municipality, in June 1792, the establishment of a free school of music. On the 18th of Brumaire in the year II. (Nov. 8, 1793) this school was converted into the Institut National de Musique by decree of the convention, and by the law of the 16th of Thermidor in the year III. (Aug. 3, 1 795) it was finally organized under the name of Conservatoire. The motives for the imprisonment of Sarrette from the 25th of March to the loth of May 1794, have been a source of historical controversy, nor is it possible to ascertain exactly what were his political views throughout this period of the French Revolution. But there is no longer foundation for the theory of Zimmermann, his biographer, that he was imprisoned for singing aloud Cretry's air, 0 Richard, o mon roil For the last forty years of his life Sarrette lived in retirement. The protection of Napoleon I. was a source of disaster to him in 1815, when the conservatoire was closed; its subsequent history was watched by its founder as a mere spectator from outside. See Constant Pierre, B. Sarrette et les origines du Conservatoire, (Paris, 1895).
End of Article: BERNARD SARRETTE (1765—1858)
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