Sarrette, Bernard

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Sarrette, Bernard

Sarrette, Bernard, French bandmaster and pedagogue; b. Bordeaux, Nov. 27, 1765; d. Paris, April 11, 1858. A captain in the national guard at Paris, he brought together, after July 13, 1789, 45 musicians to form the nucleus of the Parisian band of the national guard. In 1790 the City of Paris assumed the expenses of this band, which was increased to 70 members, among them artists of distinction. In 1792 the financial embarrassments of the Commune led to the suspension of payment, but Sarrette held the band together and, with the aid of the municipality, established a free school of music employing all the members as teachers. From this school came the musicians employed in the 14 armies of the Republic. Its energetic principal had it converted into a national Inst. of Music, in a decree of Nov. 8, 1793; it was organized as the Paris Cons. in a decree of Aug. 3, 1795. Sarrette, having gained his end, assumed the captaincy of the 103rd Regiment; but the board of directors (5 inspectors and 4 profs.) proved so incompetent that he was recalled to the directorship of the Cons. in 1796. By introducing advanced methods of instruction and establishing the school of declamation, the concert hall, the grand library, etc., he raised the Cons. to an institution of the first rank. At the Restoration in 1814 he was deprived of his position; nor would he accept it after the revolution of 1830, not wishing to oust his friend Cherubini.


P. Constant, B. S. et les origines du Conservatoire national de musique et de déclamation (Paris, 1895).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Sarrette, Bernard

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