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Violinist and Composer Émile Sauret Died in 1920

The French virtuoso was an important proponent of the Franco-Belgian school of playing

 

February 12 marks the 104th anniversary of the death of the French violinist Émile Sauret. A composer as well as a virtuoso violinist, he is primarily remembered today for the cadenza he wrote for Paganini's Violin Concerto No 1 — although his output contained many technically dazzling works for the violin.

Born in Dun-le-Roi, France in 1852, scholars posit that Sauret studied at the Paris Conservatoire and the Brussels Conservatory, and that he notably took lessons from Charles-Auguste de Berio (though none of these facts can be established beyond doubt). Sauret also noted in the dedication of one of his pedagogical treatises that he spent time studying with Vieuxtemps and Wieniawski.

Considered a child prodigy, Sauret made his debut at the age of eight in Vienna, and swiftly received invitations to perform in London and Paris as well. His solo playing career really took off following the Franco-Prussian War, when he was able to tour the United States and complete a range of recitals in major European concert halls such as the Leipzig Gewandhaus.

Sauret's influence was also widely felt in the pedagogical realm. He held teaching posts at Berlin's Neue Akademie der Tonkunst, Chicago's Musical College, and at the Royal Academy of Music and Trinity College in London.

Sauret's instrument, a Guarneri of 1744, received his surname following his death. The violin is currently owned by Itzhak Perlman.

Below you can hear violinist Philippe Hirschhorn performing the Sauret cadenza for Paganini's Violin Concerto No 1.

 

 

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