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Louis Antoine Jullien (23 April 1812 - 14 March 1860) was a French conductor and composer of light music.

Jullien was born in Sisteron, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, and was baptised Louis George Maurice Adolphe Roche Albert Abel Antonio Alexandre Noë Jean Lucien Daniel Eugène Joseph-le-brun Joseph-Barême Thomas Thomas Thomas-Thomas Pierre Arbon Pierre-Maurel Barthélemi Artus Alphonse Bertrand Dieudonné Emanuel Josué Vincent Luc Michel Jules-de-la-plane Jules-Bazin Julio César Jullien (his thirty-seven Christian names having been bestowed by members of the Sisteron Philharmonic),[1] and studied at the Paris Conservatoire. His fondness for the lighter forms of music cost him his position in the school, and after conducting the band of the Jardin Turc he was compelled to leave Paris to escape his creditors, and came to London, where he formed a good orchestra and established promenade concerts. Subsequently he travelled to Scotland, Ireland and America with his orchestra. For many years he was a familiar figure in the world of popular music in England, and his portly form with its gorgeous waistcoats occurs very often in the early volumes of Punch. He brought out an opera, Pietro il grande, at Covent Garden (1852) on a scale of magnificence that ruined him, for the piece was a complete failure, despite the presence of Enrico Tamberlik in the title-role. He was in America until 1854, when he returned to London for a short time; ultimately he went back to Paris, where, in 1859, he was arrested for debt and put into prison.

He died in an asylum at Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, but was still remembered in London twenty years after his death: he was described as "Jullien, the eminent musico" in W. S. Gilbert's libretto for Patience (1881)[2].

References

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

LOUIS ANTOINE JULLIEN (1812-1860), musical conductor, was born at Sisteron, Basses Alpes, France, on the 23rd of April 1812, and studied at the Paris conservatoire. His fondness for the lightest forms of music cost him his position in the school, and after conducting the band of the Jardin Turc he was compelled to leave Paris to escape his creditors, and came to London, where he formed a good orchestra and established promenade concerts. Subsequently he travelled to Scotland, Ireland and America with his orchestra. For many years he was a familiar figure in the world of popular music in England, and his portly form with its gorgeous waistcoats occurs very often in the early volumes of Punch. He brought out an opera, Pietro it Grande, at Covent Garden (1852) on a scale of magnificence that ruined him, for the piece was a complete failure. He was in America until 1854, when he returned to London for a short time; ultimately he went back to Paris, where, in 1859, he was arrested for debt and put into prison. He lost his reason soon afterwards, and died on the 14th of March 1860.

Bibliography

  • Louis Jullien, musique, spectacle et folie au XIXe siècle by Michel Faul (Seguier, France 2006, ISBN 9782351650387)
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Louis Antoine Jullien

Louis Antoine Jullien (born Sisteron, France, 23 April, 1812; died Paris, 14 March 1860) was a French conductor who was famous for his showmanship.

Contents

Life

Early years

Jullien was born in Sisteron, in the French Alps. At his baptism he had 36 godfathers and was given 36 Christian names. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire. He was a good musician, but mostly he enjoyed popular dance music. He conducted a band, but had to leave Paris because he owed people a lot of money.

Career in England

He went to London where he formed a good orchestra. His orchestra played at a series of summer concerts (called Concerts d’été). Later he conducted a series of winter concerts (Concerts d’hiver). Although he was a good conductor he was a great showman. He would make a big show of putting on his white gloves which were given to him on a silver plate. He used a special baton (conductor’s stick) which had jewels in it when he conducted Beethoven. He wore a white waistcoat and enormous wrist bands, and he had a huge moustache and long, black hair. He would throw himself around when conducting and finish by sinking into a velvet chair. The audience loved it, especially when he added military bands to his orchestra. He used to conduct facing the audience. He conducted concerts in the London theatres and parks (promenade concerts).

Jullien’s programmes included works by the great composers, e.g. Beethoven and Mozart, but they were always mixed with light music: dances, quadrilles, marches, etc. He often added lots of extra instruments to the great classics, e.g. when he conducted Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony he added four ophicleides, a saxophone and side drums.

Jullien travelled to Scotland, Ireland and America with his orchestra. In 1852 he produced an opera, Pietro il grande, at Covent Garden, but it cost a ridiculous amount of money and he was financially ruined.

His final years

Eventually he went back to France where he was arrested and put in prison because of his debts. He died in a lunatic asylum. His wife, to whom he had been happily married, lived on for many years, and their son Louis became a conductor and tried to conduct promenade concerts, but he did not have much success.

His reputation

Jullien’s behaviour might seem strange to us today, but he lived at a time when the role of the conductor was becoming very important as orchestras had become much larger than they had been in the 18th century. He gave people who had never heard good classical music the chance to hear the music by the great composers. He had a very big influence on the musical scene in London and people talked about him for many years after his death.

References

  • Louis Jullien : Musique, Spectacle et Folie au XIXe Siècle by Michel Faul (Atlantica, 2006 ISBN 2-35165-038-7).
  • The New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians, ed. Stanley Sadie; 1980; ISBN 1-56159-174-2
  • The Henry Wood Proms, by David Cox, BBC 1980; ISBN 0563 176970

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