NICHOLAS CHARLES BOCHSA (1789 - 1856)
The son of a Czech oboist who established a business in Paris as a music seller, Nicolas Charles Bochsa showed remarkable versatility on many instruments but decided to devote himself to the harp. He served as harpist to Napoleon and to Louis XVIII, but his business activities in forged documents led him to move to London, where his commercial and marital complications again caused him trouble. His elopement with the singer Anna Bishop, wife of Henry Bishop, led him to a period as director of the San Carlo Theatre in Naples and then to Australia, where he died.
Aside from Bochsa’s dozen or so operas, much of his music is for the harp. He wrote five concertos, studies and a number of sonatas for the instrument.