Stamp of the Month: February 2020

Henri Vieuxtemps

The Belgian violinist and composer Henri Vieuxtemps was born in Verviers on February 17, 1820, he died on June 6, 1881 in a sanatorium near Algiers. In February 2020, his birthday turns 200.
Henri Vieuxtemps received his first violin lessons from his father. From 1828 to 1831 he studied violin at the Conservatory in Brussels. His first trips took him to Paris and Germany, where he met Robert Schumann and Louis Spohr, among others. In

Belgium 6.4.1974
1835/1836 he studied counterpoint in Vienna and then composition in Paris. The performance of his Violin Concerto No. 1 in E major in St. Petersburg was a great success in 1837. Vieuxtemps then devoted himself to composing other works in Paris. In 1843/44 he went on a tour through North and Central America with his future wife, the pianist Josephine Eder. From 1846 to 1852 he worked as court musician of Tsar Nicholas I in St. Petersburg, then lived for several years near Frankfurt / Main, later in Paris, and finally again from 1871 he took up a professorship at the Brussels Conservatory. His most famous student there was Eugène Ysaÿe.
Henri Vieuxtemps is considered one of the most important violinists of the 19th century. His compositional work includes seven violin concerts, two cello concerts, several other works for violin and orchestra or piano and numerous salon music.

The video shows the Korean violinist Kristin Lee with Henri Vieuxtemps’ composition “Souvenir d’Amerique” op.17 with variations on “Yankee Doodle”. She is accompanied by the American pianist Michael Mizrahi.