Urfian, Chrétien, French violist, violinist, organist, and composer of German descent; b. Montjoie, near Aachen, Feb. 16, 1790; d. Paris, Nov. 2, 1845. He taught himself to play various instruments, then settled in Paris, where he studied composition with Le Sueur. He became a member of the Opéra orch. in 1814, where he was made 1stviolinist in 1823 and soloist in 1836 and also appeared as a violist with it. In 1827 he became organist at St. Vincent and in 1828 concertmaster of the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire; also played in chamber-music concerts. In the Cons. Concerts he employed a 5-stringed violin (violon-alto,with the tuning c-g-d1-a1-e2),producing charming effects. He composed a cantata, Les champs de repos, 2string quintets, piano pieces, and songs.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire