Servais, Adrien François



Remarkable Belgian violoncellist, said to have been one of the most distinguished of modern times, also a composer of considerable music for his instrument. He was born at Hal, near Brussels. Was first a pupil of his father, a talented musician, then studied at the Brussels Conservatory with Platel, under whose guidance he became a master of the cello. Servais spent three years in a theatre orchestra, in his native town, then made his debut as a concert-player at Paris in 1834, meeting with striking success. He played at the Philharmonic concerts in London, then returned to Brussels for a year of study, during which time he formed the style which afterwards made him famous throughout Europe. For twelve years he toured all the leading cities of the Continent, going as far north as Siberia. In 1848 he was appointed a professor at the Brussels Conservatory, and instructed many pupils who afterwards became famous. He was soloist to King Leopold and on terms of the greatest intimacy with Vieuxtemps, with whom he made many tours. Servais is credited with having invented the peg that supports the cello. He composed three concertos; and sixteen fantasias for the violoncello; fourteen duos for the same instrument; three duos for violin and cello; and other works, written jointly with Vieuxtemps and Leonard.