Elwart, Antoine Aimable Elie


Was born in Paris, of Polish parentage, and was when a boy of ten, chorister in the Church of St. Eustache. Being apprenticed to a mechanic at thirteen, he ran away and joined the orchestra of a small theatre. He entered the Paris Conservatory in 1852, where he started a series of competitive concerts among the students, which continued six years, and afforded excellent practice for both composition and solo work. In 1831 he received first prize for composition, and in 1834 the Grand Prize of Rome. From 1832 to 1834 he was assistant professor of composition, and on his return from Rome two years later, took up this work again, becoming professor of harmony in 1840. He was also director of the St. Cecilia Society concerts. He resigned his post in the Conservatory in 1871 and died six years later. His compositions include the oratorios, Noah and La Naissance d'Eve; several operas, Les Catalans being the only one performed; the music for Euripides' Alcestis; also some overtures, symphonies, chamber - music and church-music. But his reputation rests principally on his writings, theoretical and literarv. including Theorie Musicale; Traits due contrepoint et de la fugue; and Le Chanteur accompagnateur; and Historic de la Societe des Concerts. He also contributed musical articles to Paris periodicals.