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LÉVY , family of musicians in mid-18th century Paris. They were probably admitted to reside in Paris by Louis xv among the limited number of merchants and representatives of liberal professions. The talented members of the family enjoyed considerable status in Parisian music and musical life. The Mercure de France mentions a Mlle. Lévy (no first name), who delighted the queen and her guests with her singing in the performance of Pascal's Colasse's Thétis et Pélée opera held in her chambers in 1733. Only the very best were chosen to entertain the queen and her guests. A dozen years later, the same Mercure de France refers to Madame Lévy ("Madame" indicating marital status) who "thrilled a distinguished audience with her outstanding performance on the par-dessus-deviole [viola]" and was admired for the unusual "vivaciousness of her playing" in her three successive appearances at the Concert Spirituel during the 1745 season. In a report on a concert held on Passion Sunday, 1750, there appears the name of Mme. Haubaut, identified specifically as the "sister of Monsieur Lévy," who played the par-dessus-de-viole to great applause. It is not clear whether Mme. Haubaut and Mme. Lévy were one and the same person and we also do not know when and where either of them was born and raised. The brother Joseph Lévy, who was a much sought-after music teacher, made a name as the composer and publisher of the first set of sonatas for solo harp to appear in France. He dedicated his work to Mme. Saintien Sallabery, the wife of the king's chief financial officer.


A. Ringer, in: Musica Judaica, vol. viii, no. 1 (1985–86), 1–12.

[Amnon Shiloah (2nd ed.)]

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