Aux-Cousteaux [Hautcousteaux], Artus [Arthur]
- James R. Anthony
(b ?Amiens, c1590; d Paris, c1656). French composer and singer. Although his birthplace is not known, there were families bearing this name in Amiens; a member of one, a relative of the composer, served as mayor of the town. Aux-Cousteaux studied under Jean de Bournonville at the choir school of the collegiate church at Saint Quentin. From 1613 to 1627 he sang haute-contre in Louis XIII's chapel. A period at Noyon followed about which little is known. He succeeded Bournonville as maître de musique both at Saint Quentin (1631) and Amiens (c 1632–4). On 24 June 1634 he relinquished this more lucrative post for that of a ‘clerk’ haute-contre at the Ste Chapelle in Paris. In spite of a recalcitrant and quarrelsome nature (‘scandalous, insolent and disrespectful acts committed daily during the Office’), Aux-Cousteaux advanced rapidly and by 1643 was maître de musique...