Sunday, January 26, 2014

Lucien Martin

Lucien Martin was a Canadian violinist, conductor, and composer born (in Montreal) on May 30, 1908.  He had a brief concertizing career and later worked as an orchestral player, though not a concertmaster.  That, in itself, is unusual.  His first lessons were with his father, who was also a violin maker.  He began playing in public at age 7.  At age 9 he had already earned a gold medal from the National Conservatory in Montreal at which he had been enrolled for two years.  His teachers were Albert Chamberland (1917-1920), Alfred De Seve (1920-1923), and Camille Couture (1923-1925) – Camille Couture was also a highly respected violin maker who had made copies of the violins used by Jacques Thibaud, Eugene Ysaye, Jan Kubelik, and Adolfo Betti.  Martin began playing professionally - concertizing, mostly in the U.S. - in 1925.  He was 17 years old.  From 1928 he continued his studies with Couture for about a year.  He then went to Paris to study with Maurice Hayot at the Normal School for Music (Ecole Normale de Musique), not to be confused with the Paris Conservatory.  In 1933, after receiving his “license” in the art of violin performance, Martin returned to Canada and gave several recitals here and there.  He became a member (first violin section) of the Montreal Symphony in 1935.  He performed Bruch’s first concerto with that orchestra on February 4, 1935.  In 1936, he again traveled to Paris for further study with George Enesco.  Martin returned to Montreal in 1937 – Enesco left Paris to conduct the New York Philharmonic for a couple of years beginning in 1937.  After that, Martin played second violin in the Dubois String Quartet for a year – unfortunately, the quartet was disbanded in 1938, when the founding member died.  Martin was then 30 years old.  In the late 1930s and early 1940s Martin played for numerous radio broadcasts.  I do not know if recordings of those broadcasts were made and are archived somewhere.  He also conducted several concerts at about the same time.  Only one of his compositions – a song - was published during his lifetime.  A popular source which is often very unreliable says that Martin owned a 1769 Ferdinando Gagliano violin from 1972 to 1982, which is, of course, impossible.  None of the sources I found mentioned whether Martin ever taught violin anywhere.  On October 29, 1950, Lucien Martin died.  He was 42 years old.  

1 comment:

  1. The piano player in the photo might be Lucien Martin, the violinist - or perhaps not. It was the only one I could locate which referenced his name.