Saturday, December 19, 2009

Charles Dancla

Charles Dancla was a French violinist and teacher born on December 19, 1817 (Beethoven was 47 years old and Paganini was 35 years old.) He began his studies while still a child and later studied with Pierre Baillot for a number of years. In 1835, he became concertmaster of the Paris Opera Orchestra. Between 1848 and 1855 he joined the French Civil Service but continued to play informally. (Pierre Baillot had done something similar.) In 1855 - after years of political intrigues - he was made professor of violin at the Paris Conservatory and taught there for more than 35 years. One of his pupils was Achille Rivarde.  Another famous pupil he had was Maud Powell. Dancla wrote many violin concertos, orchestral pieces, 14 string quartets, and many other works for violin, none of which are played today, except perhaps in France. The Dancla Stradivarius violin of 1703 is named after him. He used it for 22 years - between 1854 and 1876. However, among other very fine violins, he also played a 1710 Stradivari which also bears his name and was later owned and played by Nathan Milstein. Dancla died on October 10, 1907, at age 89 (Stravinsky was 25 years old and Heifetz was already six years old.) 


  1. That's some interesting ages. I noticed half his life was as a violinist and the other half as a teacher (casually speaking). hehe

  2. Interesting and informative!

    1. Thank you! Dancla was one of my first posts - had I written it today, it would probably be twice as long. :-)