Devienne, François, versatile French musician; b. Joinville, Haute-Marne, Jan. 31, 1759; d. in the insane asylum at Charenton, Sept. 5, 1803. A flutist and bassoonist, member of the band of the Gardes Suisses, bassoonist at the Theatre de Monsieur (1789–1801), and a prof, at the Paris Cons, (from 1795), he was an extraordinarily prolific composer of peculiar importance from the impulse that he gave to perfecting the technique of wind instruments. He also wrote a valuable Methode de flute (Paris, 1795), which went through several eds.
12 opéras; many concerted pieces for various wind instruments, with orch.; overtures; concertos, quartets, trios, sonatas, etc., for flute, piano, and other instruments; 12 suites d’harmonies a 8 et 12 parties; numerous romances, chan-sons, etc.
W. Montgomery, The Life and Works of F. D., 1759–1803 (diss., Catholic Univ. of America, 1975).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire
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