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date: 16 December 2019

Berteau [Berthault, Bertaud], Martinlocked

  • Mary Cyr


(b 1708; d Angers, Jan 23, 1771). French cellist. He was the founder of the French school of cello playing. Among his pupils were Tillière, Janson, Cupis and the elder Duport. He began by playing the bass viol, studying in Germany with Kozecz, the Bohemian performer on that instrument. After hearing the Italian cellist Francischello he gave up the viol for the cello. In 1739 he played a concerto of his own composition with great success at the Concert Spirituel in Paris. La Borde praised him highly: ‘M. Berteau fut le Professeur qui contribua le plus à la perfection de cet instrument, par la manière dont il en jouait’. Some doubts have been cast upon the authenticity of the few works which survive, largely due to confusion over his date of death, thought by F.-J. Fétis, Eitner and others to be 1756. The later date given above is, however, confirmed by the register of St Pierre d’Angers and in an annotation by Abbé Roze to a manuscript of ‘Sonate del S[i]gnore Berteau ...

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Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France
E.L. Gerber: Historisch-biographisches Lexikon der Tonkünstler
R. Eitner: Biographisch-bibliographisches Quellen-Lexikon
Early Music
F.-J. Fétis: Biographie universelle des musiciens