Henri Marteau

marteauMarteau was born at Rheims, March 31, 1874.

His father was a well known amateur violinist of that city, and took a great interest in musical affairs.

His mother was an excellent pianist, who had studied under Mme. Schumann.

Through the influence of Sivori, Marteau’s parents were easily persuaded to allow their son to adopt a musical career, and he showed remarkable aptitude in his studies, first under Bunzl, and later under Leonard.

His professional debut was made when only ten years old, at a concert given by the Vienna Philharmonic Society, conducted by Richter. A tour through Switzerland and Germany followed. A year later Gounod selected this young violinist to play the obbligato of a piece composed for the Joan of Arc Centenary Celebration at Rheims.

Marteau made his debut in London in 1888, at a Richter concert. In 1892 he gained the first place prize at the Paris Conservatory, and Massenet wrote a violin concerto especially for his benefit.

A further series of tours followed.

Twice he visited America, once in 1893, and once in 1898, and he visited Russia 1897-1899. He is now engaged in teaching, and for a time was professor of the violin at Geneva Conservatoire.

On the death of Joachim, Marteau was called to the Hochsschule of Berlin, where he is now head of the violin deparment.

He is the composer of a cantata for soprano, chorus and orchestra, entitled “La voix de Jeanne d’Arc.