Sainton, Prosper Philippe Catherine
Eminent violinist, who was born in Toulouse, France, but who belonged to the English musical world entirely. Little is known of his youth, except that he was intended by his parents for the law, but he early decided to devote himself to music and entered the Paris Conservatory in 1831, studying violin under Habeneck, and taking first prize in 1834. After a brief period of orchestral playing at the Grand Opera, Paris, he made concert tours through Europe. In 1840 he became violin professor at the Toulouse Music School, and four years later came to London, where he was very successful. In 1845 he received the appointment of violin professor at the Royal Academy of Music. He led the performances of the Musical Union, Quartet Association, and Monday Popular concerts; was leader of the Philharmonic band from 1846 to 1854, of Her Majesty's band and orchestra, and was appointed chamber-musician to the Queen, a post he held until 1856. He was also leader of the orchestra on the establishment of Italian Opera at Covent Garden in 1847. In 1860 he married Charlotte Dolby, the famous vocalist and composer. He wrote several compositions, among them two concertos for violin, with orchestral accompaniment; a Solo de Cornet; a rondo mazurka; three romances; several airs with variations; romances for violin and piano; a tarentelle and fantasias on operas.