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Chambonnières, Jacques Champion, Sieur de

paris harpsichord court dancer

Chambonnières, Jacques Champion, Sieur de, French harpsichordist, dancer, teacher, and composer; b. Paris, 1601 or 1602; d. there, April or May, 1672. His father was the keyboard player and composer Jacques Champion, known as La Chapelle (b. probably in Paris, before 1555; d. there, 1642), who served in the king’s chamber as a gentilhomme ordinaire. By 1632 Chambonnières was associated with the court, where he became esteemed as both a harpsichordist and dancer. In 1641 he founded a series of private concerts known as the Assemblée des Honnestes Curieux, with which he was active as director and performer. In 1643 he succeeded his father as a gentilhomme ordinaire in the king’s chamber. Chambonnières was an influential teacher, numbering among his pupils the Couperin brothers, D’Anglebert, Hardel, Lebégue, Cambert, and Nivers. In 1662 he retired from his court duties and was succeeded by D’Anglebert. Chambonnières was the founder of the French Classical school of harpsichord playing, and was one of the first to adapt the lute idiom to the composing of harpsichord music. He composed only works for solo harpsichord and publ.. Les Pièces de clavessin (two vols., Paris, 1670). All of his works were ed. by P. Brunold and A. Tessier (Paris, 1925; new ed., 1961).

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