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date: 20 August 2019

Fétis familylocked

  • Katharine Ellis,
  • Robert Wangermée
  •  and Gustave Chouquet

Extract

Belgian family of musical scholars, critics, teachers and composers.

Katharine Ellis and Robert Wangermée

(b Mons, Belgium, March 25, 1784; d Brussels, March 26, 1871). Musicologist, critic, teacher and composer. At once both a pioneer and a conservative, he was among the most influential musical figures in continental Europe for most of the 19th century, occupying key posts within the Franco-Belgian musical establishment and initiating significant cultural trends through his theoretical works and his concert activity.

Fétis came from a family of musicians and instrument makers: his grandfather, Simon-Joseph, was an organist and organ builder; his father, Antoine-Joseph, an organist, violinist in a local theatre and a conductor of subscription concerts in Mons. As a child he played the organ, piano and violin and began to compose; he was giving piano lessons in his early teens in order to help his family out of financial difficulties. As a result of playing continuo for his father's musical gatherings, he became well acquainted with the music of C.P.E. Bach, Viotti, Mozart and Haydn before leaving for Paris aged 16 to study at the Conservatoire, where he matriculated on ...

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