Musard, Philippe



Composer of dance-music; born in Paris, where he took private lessons under Reicha. For some time a violinist and conductor; he came prominently before the public when Dufresne introduced cornet-a-pistons at a series of concerts and bals masques held in the bazar of the Rue St. Honore, on which occasion Musard was conductor and writer of some of the cornet solos. In 1835 and 1836 he conducted the masque balls of the Opera. In 1837 he moved to the new concert hall in the Rue Vivienne, in which situation he had to compete with the great Johann Strauss of Vienna. During this time he conducted the Concert Spirituel at which only the music of Handel was played. In 1840 he went to London as leader of the Promenade concerts at Drury Lane, and in 1841 he conducted another series of Promenade concerts at the Lyceum. Until 1852 he was considered the finest conductor and composer of dance-music in France. He lived near Paris until his death in 1859. His music was well written and often contained many charming and novel effects. He was known as the Quadrille King, and was also famous as a writer of galop. Among his writings are Les Cloches Argentines; Les tudiants de Paris; Les Echos; Vive la Danse; Les Gondoliers Venitiens; over a hundred and fifty quadrilles, some original, some on themes from operas; many waltzes; three quartets and Nouvelle methode de composition musicale, which he dedicated to the noted master and theorist, Anton Reicha.