Davaux, Jean-Baptiste , prominent French composer; b. La Côte-St. André, July 19, 1742; d. Paris, Feb. 2,1822. He studied music with his parents, then settled in Paris, where he made a name for himself as a violinist and composer. Although he continued to be active as a composer in subsequent years, he found employment in the Ministry of War; upon retiring, he was made a member of the Legion d’honneur (1814). Davaux was highly regarded as a composer of orch. and chamber music. In his Trois simphonies a grand orchestre, op. 11 (1784), he included his chronometre, thus anticipating Maelzel’s invention.
DRAMATIC Opera : Theodore, ou Le Bonheur inattendu, comic opera (Fontainebleau, March 4, 1785; not extant);Cecilia, ou Les Trois Tuteurs, comic opera (Paris, Dec. 14, 1786).ORCH.: 8 syms. concertantes (c. 1772–85); Sinfonie concertante melee d’airs patriotiques (1794); Simphonie concertante (1800); 4 violin concertos (1769–71); 3 simphonies for Strings (1784).CHAMBER : 6 quatuors concertants for String Quartet (1779); 6 quatuors d’airs connus for String Quartet (1780); 6 duos for 2 Violins (1788); 4 quartetti for String Quartet (London, 1790); 6 trios for 2 Violins and Viola (c. 1792); 3 quatuors concertants for 2 Violins, Cello, and Bass (c. 1800); 4 Quintettes for 2 Violins, 2 Violas, and Cello.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire