JOSEPH BODIN DE BOISMORTIER (1689 - 1755)
Joseph Bodin de Boismortier was born at Thionville on 23 December 1689 and died at Roissy-en-Brie on 28 October 1755. Natives of the borders of the region of Berry, the Bodin family had settled in Thionville where the composer’s father, a former soldier, became a confectioner. Around 1691, the family moved to Metz, where Boismortier was to have his musical education, apparently under Joseph Valette de Montigny, an accomplished composer of motets. In 1713 he followed his teacher to Perpignan, as tax collector for the Royal Tobacco Company, an occupation remote from music. Seven years later he married Marie Valette, a relation of his teacher, the daughter of a wealthy goldsmith. He remained in Perpignan for some ten years, a period that brought some musical activity, witnessed by two of his airs à boire (drinking-songs), published in Paris by Ballard in 1721 and 1724.
On the recommendation of influential friends, Boismortier abandoned his business and settled with his wife and daughter at the court of the Duchess of Maine at Sceaux and later in Paris, where he was first granted the privilege to print his compositions on 29 February 1724. This allowed him to publish his transverse flute duets and French cantatas, composed in Perpignan, marking the start of a successful and controversial career in the capital.
Courtesy of Stéphan Perreau & Jean-Christophe Maillard