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Gaviniès Pierre

Gaviniès Pierre

Gaviniès, Pierre, noted French violinist and composer; b. Bordeaux, May 11, 1728; d. Paris, Sept. 8, 1800. He learned to play the violin as a child in the workshop of his father, a violin maker. In 1734, the family moved to Paris. Gavinies made his first public appearance at a Concert Spirituel at the age of 13, and then reappeared at these concerts as a youth of 20. His success with the public was such that Viotti described him as “the French Tartini.” From 1773 to 1777 he was director (with Gossec) of the Concert Spirituel. When the Paris Cons, was organized in 1795, he was appointed prof. of violin. His book of technical exercises, Les 24 Matinées (violin studies in all the 24 keys), demonstrates by its transcen-dental difficulty that Gaviniés must have been a virtuoso. He attracted numerous pupils, and is regarded as the founder of the French school of violin pedagogy. His compositions are of less importance; he wrote 3 sonatas for Violin accompanied by Cello (publ. posth.; the one in F minor is known as Le Tombeau de Gaviniès)’, his most celebrated piece is an air, Romance de Gaviniès, which has been publ. in numerous arrangements; he also wrote 6 sonatas for 2 Violins and 6 violin concertos, and a comic opera, Le Prétendu (Paris, Nov. 6, 1760).


C. Pipelet, Éloge historicjue de P. G. (Paris, 1802); L. de La Laurencie, L’École française de violon de Lully à Viotti (Paris, 1923).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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