Michael Haydn - Contemporary composers





  Francois Devienne was born on January 31th 1759 in Joinville (Haute Marne). He was the youngest of fourteen children of a saddlemaker. He received his first musical training as a choirboy in his hometown. From the age of twenty, he played in various Parisian Ensembles as soloist and orchestra player. He studied the flute with Félix Rault and in 1780 he joined the household of Cardinal de Rohan. From 1779 he played the bassoon at the Paris Opera.

One of these ensembles was the theatre orchestra of the King's brother. Another was the 'Military Band of the French Guard' where he was given the rank of sergeant with the duty of teaching the children of his colleagues in the military band in its Free School of Music. After the Revolutionary period, this Free School became the National Institute of Music, later chartered as the Paris Conservatory.

He was the author a succesfull Flute School 'Méthode de Flûte Théroretique et Pratique' (1793), which was reprinted several times and in 1795, upon the opening of the Paris Music Conservatoire, he was appointed Flute teacher.

Like many other musicians, he joined the freemasons and 'Concerts de la Loge Olympique' orchestra.

Devienne died at a sanatorium in Charenton near Paris on september 5th 1803, probably of overwork.

His output comprises 13 concertos, sinfonias for woodwinds, quartets and trios for different ensembles, 84 duets, soli for flute, 12 operas and 4 bassoon concertos.


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