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date: 19 February 2020

Bochsa, (Robert) Nicholas Charles (USA)locked

  • E. Douglas Bomberger


(b Montmédy, France, Aug 9, 1789; d Sydney, Australia, Jan 6, 1856). French harpist, conductor, and composer. A large and imposing man who was among the greatest harpists of the 19th century, Bochsa was denoted by Fétis “as distinguished an artist as he was a miserable man.” Bochsa fled France in 1817 to escape charges of forgery, contracted a bigamous marriage in England, declared bankruptcy in 1824, and eloped with the soprano Anna Bishop in 1839. The two toured Europe in the years following and traveled to New York in 1847. There Bishop’s singing and Bochsa’s playing triumphed over American moral outrage at their lifestyle, and the two achieved success on Broadway and in North American tours that took them to New Orleans in the south, Quebec in the north, and major cities in between. They toured Mexico from June 1849 to May 1850 and California in 1854...

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F.-J. Fétis: Biographie universelle des musiciens