- Paul Raspé
(b Brussels, May 28, 1777; d Paris, Dec 18, 1858). Flemish composer, conductor, publisher and teacher. He was the son of Henri Mees (b Brussels, 1757; d Warsaw, 31 Jan 1820), principal baritone of the Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels, and of Anne-Marie Vitzthumb, a singer. He showed precocious musical talent: at the age of five he sang in a church choir, at seven he began to study the violin and at ten he played in the orchestra of the Monnaie. He had further violin studies with J.-E. Pauwels and lessons in harmony and counterpoint with his grandfather Ignaz Vitzthumb. In 1794, during the second French occupation, the family emigrated to Hamburg, where Henri Mees and other Brussels artists established a theatre for the Comédie-Française; Joseph-Henri occasionally sang secondary roles and conducted the orchestra there. He also opened a music shop, from which he published works from the Parisian repertory....