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Casadesus, Marius

Casadesus, Marius

French violinist and composer, brother of François Casadesus and Henri Casadesus; b. Paris, Oct. 24, 1892; d. there, Oct. 13, 1981. He studied at the Paris Cons., graduating in 1914 with the premier prix in violin; subsequently toured in Europe and America; gave numerous sonata recitals with his nephew, Robert Casadesus. He was a founding member of the Société Nouvelle des Instruments Anciens (1920–40), organized with the purpose of reviving early string instruments, such as the Quinton and Diskant-gambe. He wrote a number of pieces for the violin, some choral music, and songs, but his most notorious contribution to violin literature was the so-called Adelaide Concerto, supposedly composed by Mozart when he was 10 years old and dedicated to the oldest daughter of Louis XV, Adelaide (hence the nickname). It was performed in Paris on Dec. 24, 1931, with considerable publicity, but skepticism arose when Casadesus failed to produce either the MS or a contemporary copy of it. In 1977, in the course of a litigation for his copyright as the arranger of the “Adelaide Concerto” Casadesus admitted that the piece was entirely of his own hand.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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