Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Emile Sauret

Emile Sauret was a French violinist and composer born on May 22, 1852 (Brahms was 19 years old.) He began studying violin at age 6 with Charles Rondolet at Strasburg. Two years later, he was already concertizing. As a young touring artist, his father was his constant companion. Later on, and almost simultaneously, he studied with Charles De Beriot and Henri Vieuxtemps. Like Paganini before him, he never attended a conservatory. His first appearance in England was in 1862, at age 10. He made a return visit in 1866. He was known for his constant European and world-wide travels and his numerous friendships with the most famous musicians of his time – Rossini, Grieg, Brahms, Liszt, Bruch, Saint Saenz, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Sarasate, Ernst, Wieniawski, Bazzini, and Sivori, to name a few. He toured the U.S. in 1872, where Liszt accompanied him on at least two recitals. He also often played for French Emperor-President Napoleon III and his court. It has been said that his repertoire included no less than 70 concertos and 400 miscellaneous works. In 1873, he married Teresa Carreno, the Venezuelan concert pianist and composer of the national anthem of Venezuela. They divorced in 1875. In 1879, he married Emmy Hotter and henceforth taught at the Stern Academy in Berlin for a number of years. 1890 found him teaching at the Royal Academy of Music in London, which he made his home until his death. In 1903, he taught at the Chicago Musical College. His last teaching appointment was at the Trinity College of Music (in London) where he taught between 1915 and 1919. Among his pupils are William Reed and Isolde Menges. Today, Sauret is mostly remembered for the famous and very difficult cadenza he wrote for Paganini’s first violin concerto, although he wrote more than 100 other works, including three violin concertos - the first in g minor, the second in E major, and the third in B minor. He also wrote a book of violin studies which nobody uses now. A Stradivarius violin from 1685 is named after him. A Guarnerius violin from 1744 is also named after him. Sauret died in London on February 12, 1920, at age 68.

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