RODOLPHE KREUTZER (1766 - 1831)
The son of a wind player and violin teacher in the Swiss Guard of the Duc de Choiseul in Paris, Rodolphe Kreutzer was a pupil of Anton Stamitz and enjoyed early royal favour as a violinist. He continued his career as a composer, violinist and teacher in the years after the French Revolution. He taught at what was to become the Paris Conservatoire and was in the service of Napoleon. His career as a soloist ended in 1810, but with the restoration of the monarchy he became, in 1815, maître de chapelle du roi, following this with appointment as conductor at the Opéra. His meeting with Beethoven in Vienna in 1804 led to the dedication of the latter’s so-called ‘Kreutzer’ Sonata.
Kreutzer was responsible for some 42 operas, 12 of them in collaboration with other composers.
The name of Kreutzer is known to all violinists in particular for his 42 Études ou Caprices, studies that remain at the heart of any violinist’s training. His 19 violin concertos are nowadays treated rather as teaching concertos than works for public display. His brother Jean Nicolas Auguste and his son Léon Charles François were also musicians, the former a violinist and the latter a composer and writer on music.