The Hector Berlioz Website
Berlioz Photo Album : Friends and acquaintances (3)
Unless otherwise stated all pictures on Berlioz Photos pages have been scanned from engravings, paintings, postcards and other publications in our own collection. All rights of reproduction reserved.
Luigi Cherubini (1760-1842)
Cherubini settled in Paris in 1788 and was the director of Paris
Conservatoire from 1822 until his death. He was 70 by the time the young
Berlioz came into contact with him. Cherubini’s behaviour as director of the
Conservatoire made him the butt of Berlioz’s scorn (cf. Berlioz’s Memoirs).
François-Antoine Habeneck (1781-1849)
Habeneck held the position of conductor at both the Opéra
and Conservatoire for two decades. He conducted the first performances of the Symphonie
fantastique, Lélio, the Requiem and Benvenuto
Esprit Auber (1782-1871)
Auber succeeded Cherubini as director of the Conservatoire
in 1842, a position that he held until his death. According to Hugh
Macdonald the work of Auber that most influenced Berlioz was the opera La
muette de Portici, also known as Masaniello.
Narcisse Girard (1798-1860)
Girard conducted some of Berlioz’s early concerts, including the
first performance of Harold
en Italie. The overture to Les
Francs-Juges is dedicated to him.
Édouard Bénazet (1801-1867)
Bénazet, the director of the casino at Baden-Baden
since 1848, was responsible for inviting Berlioz to conduct a major concert
at the resort in 1853 and then annually from 1856 to 1861. In 1858 he commissioned
him to write an opera for the inauguration of a new theatre he was building;
Berlioz did not fulfil the original commission but eventually wrote the
comic opera in two acts Béatrice
et Bénédict, his last major work, which was accepted by Bénazet
instead and premièred in Baden-Baden on 9 and 11 August
Anne Charton-Demeur (1824-1892)
Madame Charton-Demeur sang in Roméo
et Juliette in 1852 in London
and again in 1858 in Baden-Baden, the role of Béatrice in the première of
Béatrice et Bénédict at
Baden Baden in 1862, and that of Didon in the première
of Les Troyens in 1863. She retired in 1869, but continued
to sing Berlioz’s works in concerts. She and her husband were staunch and loyal friends of Berlioz. She was present at Berlioz’s
A copy of this lithograph is in the library of the Paris Opera.
François-Joseph Fétis (1784-1871)
A native of Belgium, Fétis was an eminent critic and musicologist who studied and lived in Paris between 1800-1811 and 1818-1832, then became director of the newly-founded Brussels Conservatoire from 1833 to the end of his life. Outraged by his ‘corrections’ to Beethoven’s symphonies, Berlioz famously attacked him in the Mélologue, later renamed Lélio ou le retour à la vie, at its first performance at the Paris Conservatoire in December 1832, with Fétis present in the audience. Later in life the relationship between the two men gradually improved from one of hostility to mutual respect. See Berlioz in Brussels page for Berlioz’s concerts in that city and his long relationship with Fétis.
© (unless otherwise stated) Monir Tayeb and Michel Austin for all
the texts and images on Berlioz Photo Album pages.
All rights of reproduction reserved.
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