Lamoureux, Charles, renowned French conductor; b. Bordeaux, Sept. 28, 1834; d. Paris, Dec. 21, 1899. He began violin training with Baudoin, and then was a student at the Paris Cons. of Girard (violin; premiers prix, 1852, 1854), Tolbecque (harmony), Leborne (counterpoint and fugue), and Chauvet (composition). He began his career playing violin in several Parisian orchs., including those of Pasdeloup, at the Opéra, and at the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire. In 1860 he was one of the founders of the Séances Populaires de Musique in Paris. After gaining success as a choral conductor, he was appointed asst. conductor of the Conservatoire concerts in 1872 and subsequently established himself as a prominent Parisian symphonic and operatic maestro. In 1874 he founded the Société Française de l’harmonie Sacrée. In 1876 he conducted at the Opéra-Comique and then at the Opéra (1877–79). He then founded the Société des Nouveaux-Concerts, which he conducted for the first time on Oct. 23, 1881. These Lamoreux Concerts, as they came to be known, quickly became celebrated events, and his orch. attained the status of France’s premiere ensemble. In 1891-92 he also served as music director of the Opéra. After retiring as conductor of the Lamoureux Concert in 1897, he was succeeded by his son-in-law Camille Chevillard. In 1887 Lamoureux was made an Officier of the Légion d’honneur in appreciation for his services to French music. Although acknowledged as a highly competent conductor, he acquired a reputation as an abusive and dictatorial taskmaster. He was so loathed by some of his musicians that he is reported to have carried a pistol for protection.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire