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Marteau, Henri

Marteau, Henri

Marteau, Henri, greatly esteemed French-born Swedish violinist and pedagogue; b. Rheims, March 31, 1874; d. Lichtenberg, Bavaria, Oct. 3, 1934. He studied violin with Léonard and Garcin at the Paris Cons, (premier prix, 1892) and began his concert career as a youth; played in Vienna when he was 10 and in London when he was 14. In 1892, 1893, 1894, 1898, and 1906 he also toured the U.S., and also gave concerts in Scandinavia, Russia, France, and Germany. In 1900 he was appointed prof, of violin at the Geneva Cons., and in 1908 succeeded Joachim as violin teacher at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin. He conducted the Göteborg orch. (1915–20) and became a naturalized Swedish citizen (1920); then taught at the German Academy of Music in Prague (1921–24), the Leipzig Cons. (1926–27), and the Dresden Cons, (from 1928). He was greatly appreciated by musicians of Europe; Reger, who was a personal friend, wrote a violin concerto for him, as did Massenet; his teacher Léonard bequeathed to him his magnificent Maggini violin, once owned by the Empress Maria Theresa. He championed the music of Bach and Mozart. Marteau was also a competent composer, numbering among his works an opera, Meister Schwable (Plauen, 1921), Sinfonia gloria naturae for Orch. (Stockholm, 1918), 2 violin concertos, Cello Concerto, much chamber music, many choral works, numerous violin pieces, and arrangements of classical works.


B. Marteau, H. M., Siegeszug einer Geige (Tutzing, 1971); G. Weiss, ed., Der Lehrer und Wegbereiter von H. M., Hubert Léonard (Tutzing, 1987); K. Bangerter, H. M. als Komponist im Spiegel der Kritik: Eine Studie zum Begriff der “Einheit” in der Musikkritik um 1900 (Tutzing, 1991).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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