Lamoureux, Charles


French violinist and conductor; born at Bordeaux. His first study was under Beaudoin, followed by instruction in the Paris Conservatory under Girard. In 1854 he won the first prize for violin. He studied harmony under Tolbecque and attended the counterpoint course of Leborne and finished his theoretical studies under Alexis Chauvet, a celebrated organist. He was solo violinist in the Gymnase Orchestra, and afterwards played at the Opera for many years. With Colonne, Adam and A. Pilet he founded a society for chamber-music which produced much new music. After traveling in Germany and England he wished to produce more pretentions performances, similar to those of Hiller and Costa. He finally succeeded in organizing the Societe de 1'Harmonie sacree, modeled after the Sacred Harmonic Society of London. Lamoureux was an admirable conductor, obtaining the best possible work from his orchestra. The Messiah was given for the first time in Paris and met with great success. It was followed by Bach's Matthew Passion, Judas Maccabams and the then, 1875, unpublished Eve, by Massenet. Succeeding Carvalho as director of the Opera Comique he soon resigned and was appointed conductor of the Opera by Vaucorbeil. He then gave up the subconductorship of the Conservatory concerts, which position he held since 1872. In 1879 he resigned his position at the Opera on account of a dispute with Vaucorbeil. Two years later he founded the Nouveaux concerts, called the Concerts Lamoureux, which were held successively in the Theatre of the Chateau d'Eau, the Eden Theatre and the Cirque des Champs Elysees. Lamoureux played many times in London; in May, 1899, he and his  band were the principal attraction of a London Musical Festival in the Queen's Hall. Was made Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 1878. His death occurred in Paris, and his son-in-law, Camille Chevillard, succeeded him as conductor. As a conductor Lamoureux required perfection in the smallest details, but he had the power at the same time of bringing out the warmth and feeling of expression. He lived to see Wagner's works enthusiastically received in Paris, after doing much himself to bring it about. There had been bitter opposition under the name of patriotism, probably caused by the political condition of the times.