Boucher, Alexander Jean


A French violin-player, with a good deal of technical skill, but a charlatan in his methods. He resorted to various tricks to attract the attention of the public; emphasized by all manner of means his noticeable likeness to Napoleon; added startling additions of his own when interpreting a composer's work; and in his playing made use of exaggerated expression. He succeeded in his aim of arousing public notice, and became very well known throughout Europe. Boucher was born in Paris. He was one of the youthful prodigies, and it is said played at court, when only six years old, and at the age of eight appeared at the Concert Spiritual. He went to Spain in 1787, in Madrid held the post of solo violinist to the King; and returned to Paris in 1806. From 1820 to 1844 he traveled everywhere about Europe, attracting much attention, and calling himself "L'Alexandre des Violins;" at the conclusion of his travels he came back to France, and his death occurred in Paris. As a violinist Boucher's execution was remarkable, but he was more of a trickster than an artist.