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LHOYER, Antoine de (1768-1852)

Born in Clermont-Ferrand into an upper middle-class family, Antoine de Lhoyer was forced in the early days of the French Revolution to turn his back on the career in the French army for which he had been intended. As a convinced royalist, he fought the republican troops for a while alongside the Prussians, then the Austrians. At the very end of the eighteenth century, exiled in Hamburg, he attracted attention for his great gifts as a guitarist, which he had apparently picked up piecemeal through studying with the leading masters in the great European capitals from as early as 1774. He began teaching music in Hamburg and published his first known works there (given the opus numbers 12 to 18). In 1802 his talents as a virtuoso took him to St Petersburg, where he remained for ten years as musician to the Tsar of Russia. Returning to France at the end of the Empire, he took advantage of the Restoration of the Bourbons to join the army and was decorated with the Order of St Louis. Lhoyer was subsequently posted successively to the island of Oléron, Niort and Corsica. His arrival in the last-named posting seems to coincide with the end of his creative period (1826, with the publication of his Grand Duo for violin and guitar op.45): we know of no later works. It must be said, though, that this composer-virtuoso has been rediscovered only very recently: a portion of his output has not yet been located. His catalogue as we know it today consists essentially of chamber works for several guitars or for one guitar combined with violin, cello or flute (there is little music for solo guitar).

    Work - 1
  • Grande Sonate for guitar op.12 (Antoine de Lhoyer)
  • Theme - 1
  • Strings – The guitar in the nineteenth century