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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » M » Marteau, Henri

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Henri Marteau (3/31/1874 - 10/03/1934)

Henri Marteau’s performing career began at an early age. His father was a well-known amateur violinist, and his mother an excellent pianist who had studied under Clara Schumann. They often entertained prominent musicians and it was on one of these occasions that Ernesto Camillo Sivori (Paganini’s sole pupil), much taken by the aptitude and enthusiasm of the young Marteau, gave him a violin and encouraged his parents to allow him to pursue a musical career. Lessons from Bunzl and subsequently Hubert Léonard, professor at the Paris Conservatoire, led to Marteau’s début as a ten-year-old child prodigy and to his entering Jules Garcin’s class in 1891.

Aged only thirteen, Marteau was invited by Hans Richter to play Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 at a concert of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde (Society of Music-lovers) in Vienna; he fascinated the audience, which included Johannes Brahms. By the age of twenty-six Marteau was a professor at the conservatory in Geneva and after Joachim’s death he succeeded him at the Musikhochschule in Berlin.

Marteau met Max Reger in 1904 and their friendship was strong, Marteau supporting the young composer’s work. They played together in more than fifty concerts throughout Europe and Reger dedicated many of his compositions to Marteau, among them the Violin Concerto, Op. 101.




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