Skip to main content

Adolphe BLANC

1828 - 1885

Composer, Violinist

Date of birth:
Date of death:

Born in Manosque, Adolphe Blanc showed an early aptitude for the violin and was sent at the age of thirteen to study at the Paris Conservatoire (1841), where he was awarded a second prize for violin in 1849. He also studied composition there with Halévy. His earliest works were written for the piano, but he then turned to chamber music, composing sonatas for violin or cello and piano, trios, then quartets, quintets and sextets of various configurations. He dedicated his Four Piano Quartets, op. 28, to Rossini who, charmed by the young composer’s gift for melody, had sponsored his concert début in 1857. Five years later, the Academy des Beaux-Arts confirmed the maestro’s intuition by awarding Blanc the Chartier Prize. Profoundly Classical, written with great clarity and requiring no excessive prowess on the instrumentalists’ part, his chamber music appealed particularly, during the Second Empire, to the amateur musicians who frequented the large conservative salons in Paris. Blanc was one of the pillars of the Concerts Ledoux, where each week amateurs performed under the supervision of the professionals in charge of their tuition. Blanc was a prolific composer, who also wrote vocal works, including the song collection Les Danses chantées, two opérettes and a one-act opéra-comique, Les Deux Billets. In 1866 he joined the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire as a violinist, and for a time he worked as a conductor at the Théâtre-Lyrique.