On February 20th, 1802 one of the most influential violinists of the 19th century was born in the town of Louvain, Belgium. In 2020 we will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Charles de Bériot’s death. It is remarkable that such an influential figure, not only for the history of violin playing but for 19th century music in general, has not been studied in detail. His wife, the opera singer Maria Malibran, has been the subject of numerous monographs and articles, mostly due to her tragically early death. De Bériot had a life that was no less tragic and left an enormous musical legacy as well as teaching some of the most influential violinists of the mid to late 19th century. Amongst these we can count another Beligan violinists, Henri Vieuxtemps (born 200 years ago today), who’s influence in turn on Eugène Ysaÿe is well known.
This series of blog posts will focus on various aspects of De Bériot’s life and works, his importance as a violinist and teacher but also his lesser known side as a 19th century renaissance man.
Do you know De Bériot?