Franchomme, Auguste Joseph
Distinguished cellist and a composer of considerable ability for his instrument, who was born at Lille, France, and studied first under a player named Mas. In 1825 Franchomme became a pupil of Levasseur and Norblin at the Paris Conservatory, and received in 1826 the first prize of the cello class. A year later he appeared as a cellist in the orchestra of the Ambigu Comique, at the Theatre Italien and at the Opera the same year. With D. Alard and Charles Halle, he established chamber-music soirees in Paris. Franchomme was an intimate friend of Chopin and was with him when he died. He published, with the great Polish composer, a duo on airs from Robert le Diable, another with Bertini and a third with Osborne. In 1846 he received the appointment of violoncello teacher at the Conservatory. After Duport's death Franchomme bought his Stradivarius cello, said to be the finest in the world, and purchased for the sum of 25,000 francs. He traveled very little, the only journey he ever took out of his own country being to England in 1856, when he played at the Musical Union, London. Franchomme's prinicpal works consist of potpourris; a concerto; variations; and adagios, which are highly praised by all musicians.