Adam, Adolphe (Charles )
- Elizabeth Forbes
(b Paris, July 24, 1803; d Paris, May 3, 1856). French composer. He composed more than 80 stage works, some of which, especially those written for the Paris Opéra-Comique, obtained considerable and lasting success.
His father (Jean) Louis Adam (b Muttersholtz, Bas-Rhin, 3 Dec 1758; d Paris, 8 April 1848) was a pianist, composer and teacher; he taught the piano at the Paris Conservatoire from 1797 to 1842 (his pupils included Frédéric Kalkbrenner and Ferdinand Hérold), composed several keyboard sonatas (many with violin accompaniment) as well as lighter works, and wrote a Méthode, ou Principe général du doigté pour le forté-piano and a Méthode du piano du Conservatoire that was translated into German and Italian. Adolphe was not encouraged by his father to become a musician, but, influenced by his friendship with Hérold (12 years his senior), he decided at an early age that he wished to compose, and to compose, specifically, theatre music. He first studied the piano with Henry Lemoine, and at 17 entered the Conservatoire, where he studied the organ with Benoist, counterpoint with Reicha and composition with Boieldieu, the chief architect of his musical development. By the age of 20 he was already contributing songs to the Paris vaudeville theatres; he played in the orchestra at the Gymnase, later becoming chorus master there. In ...