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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » W » Waldteufel, Emile



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Emile Waldteufel (12/09/1837 - 2/12/1915)

Like Johann Strauss, Emile Waldteufel came from a family of dance musicians. Patriarch, Louis (1801-84) led a highly regarded band, and brother Leon (1832-84) was a respected musician.Emile Waldteufel was born in Strasbourg on 9 December 1837, just seven weeks after the elder Johann Strauss gave his first concert on French soil in that very city. When he was seven, the family moved to Paris for his brother Lon to take up a place as a violin student at the Paris Conservatoire. Emile Waldteufel was to live in Paris for the rest of his life.He in turn studied piano at the Conservatoire with Marmontel from 1853 to 1857, where Massenet was among his classmates.

Meanwhile the family dance orchestra was becoming one of the best known in Paris, increasingly in demand for society balls during Napoleon III’s Second Empire. In 1865, Waldteufel was appointed court pianist to the Empress Eugnie in succession to Joseph Ascher (composer of ‘Alice, where art thou?’), performing at Court functions not only in Paris but also in Biarritz and Compigne. From 1867 the Waldteufel orchestra played at Napoleon III’s magnificent Court balls at the Tuileries.

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