Toulou, Jean Louis



Flute-player of distinction and a manufacturer of flutes after the old system; born in Paris. At the Conservatory he studied under Wunderlich, taking second prize in 1799 and in 1800 being denied the first prize only on account of his youth and gaining it the following year. In 1804 he was first flute at the Italian Opera and in 1813 he succeeded Wunderlich at the Opera. His playing of the flute passage in Le Rossignol in 1816 established him as a performer of the first rank. On the appointment of a new flute-player to the King's Chapel and also a new professor of flute at the Conservatory he was passed over, owing to sarcastic remarks he had made about the ministry, and in anger he left the Opera in 1822, but returned four years later with the title of first flute solo. Soon after he was made flute professor at the Conservatory. He was also active as a maker of flutes, producing excellent instruments after old models but steadfastly refusing to adopt Bohm's improvements; nor would he play on any but the old type of wooden flutes with five keys, or let the new system be introduced into the Conservatory. He took several medals and honorable mentions for flutes at various exhibitions and his trade-mark, a nightingale, was recognized as a mark of excellence. In 1856 he retired from his post at the Opera and Conservatory, and went to live at Nantes, until his death, nine years later. He wrote many compositions which show him to be an excellent theoretical musician, well acquainted with the possibilities of his instrument. Among these compositions are symphonies concertantes for flute and other windinstruments; grand solos for flute; five concertos for flute and orchestra; fantasies, airs, trios, duos, variations, and other forms of music for the flute. Of these several compositions are still standard works for that instrument.