Molique, Wilhelm Bernhard



Violin virtuoso and composer; born at Nuremberg. His father, the town chapelmaster, was his first instructor and taught him to play several instru ments, but soon selected the violin as the instrument upon which to perfect his son. When Molique was fourteen, Spohr came to Nuremberg and was persuaded to teach him, praising the progress he had already made and prophesying a successful future. He showed so much talent that Maximilian I. of Bavaria became his patron, sending him to Munich, where in 1816 he began to study under Rovelli. After two years in Munich, he played in the orchestra of the Theatre an der Wien at Vienna, returning to Munich after Rovelli's death in 1820 and becoming conductor of the Royal band. In 1822 he made his first artistic tour, stopping at Leipsic, Dresden, Berlin and Hanover, and gaining wide recognition as an excellent violinst. In 1826 he became first violin and director of the Royal band at Stuttgart, a position which he held until 1849, spending his vacations in concert tours to Paris, St. Petersburg and Vienna. In 1849 he moved to London, where he became well known as a solo and quartet player and a teacher of violin. His oratorio, Abraham, was first performed at the Norwich Festival in 1860. In 1866 he retired to Cannstadt, near Stuttgart, where he died in 1869. He has written some excellent violin-music, of which the concerto in A minor is usually considered the best. His other works are nine other concertos; eight quartets; a symphony; a mass; three violin sonatas; duet for various combinations of instruments, and a concertino.