PAUL VIARDOT (1857 - 1941)
Paul Viardot was born on 20 July 1857 at the castle of Courtavenel in France, the fourth child and only son of Louis and Pauline Viardot. The Viardots moved to Baden-Baden when Paul was a young child, and here he studied violin (and quickly became a prodigy) and rubbed shoulders with the political, literary, and musical elite of Europe. He attended boarding school at Carlsruhe, but the Baden-Baden interlude was interrupted by the Franco-Prussian War, which necessitated the family’s moving to France and then England. After the war the family returned to Paris where he continued to study music under César Franck, Théodore Dubois, and Hubert Léonard.
After the war, suffering from bronchitis that made the Parisian climate unsuitable, he accepted an invitation from the Ministry of Fine Arts to serve in North Africa. He founded a conservatory and was active in its affairs until past age 80. He died in Algiers late in 1941.