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Bériot, Charles (-Auguste) de

violin paris left malibran

Bériot, Charles (-Auguste) de, celebrated Belgian violinist, pedagogue, and composer, b. Louvain, Feb. 20, 1802; d. Brussels, April 8, 1870. After initial instruction from a provincial teacher, he was left to perfect his technique on his own. In 1821 he went to Paris, where he briefly attended Baillot’s class as the Cons.; that same year, he made a successful debut in Paris. In 1826 he made his first appearance in London, where he garnered great praise. He then served as solo violinist to the King of the Netherlands until 1830. In 1826 he met Maria Malibran, with whom he lived until her marriage to her first husband was annulled in 1836 and at which time the two were married. From 1829 to 1836 he toured widely, and gave joint concerts with Malibran in France, England, Italy, and Belgium. After her death in 1836, he withdrew from public appearances until 1838. He then gave joint concerts in Austria and Italy with Pauline Garcia, his late wife’s sister. In 1840 he played in Russia. In 1843 he became a prof. of violin at the Brussels Cons., a post he retained until failing eyesight and paralysis of the left arm compelled him to retire in 1852. His most renowned pupil was Henri Vieuxtemps. Bériot’s playing was greatly admired for its combination of technical brilliance and warmth of tone. He publ. 10 violin concertos (Nos. 1, 7, and 9 are still used in violin courses), 12 Airs variés , duos brillants for Violin and Piano, 11 sets of variations for Violin, etc. His pedagogical works are still useful, the most notable being his Méthode de Violon (Paris, 1858).

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