Barthelemon, François Hippolyte


Violinist and composer, of French and Irish parentage. He was born at Bordeaux, his father being a French officer and his mother an Irish lady. While serving as an officer in the Irish Brigade, Barthelemon came under the influence of the Earl of Kelly, who persuaded him to change the career of soldier for that of musician; a fortunate change, for he became one of the most noted violinists of his time and a very successful composer. Called to be leader of the opera in London, he settled in England in 1765 and most of his professional life was spent in that country. In 1776 he married a singer, Miss Mary Young, who accompanied him on his professional tours. They made a tour through Germany, Italy and France, in 1766 and 1777, and in 1784 visited Dublin. Barthelemon is the author of songs, duos and concertos for the violin, various quartets for stringed instruments, organ preludes, and studies for the piano. He wrote the music for the oratorio Jefte in Masfa; the operas Pelopida, and Le Fleuve Scamandre; and the music for several dramatic pieces. He set to music the well-known hymn, Awake, My Soul.