It is no secret that we Gilflurts are a musical bunch and so it is a pleasure to meet a composer and violinist today. Beloved of the French court, Antoine Dauvergne was the toast of the musical world!
Dauvergne was born in Moulins, Allier and showed an early talent for composition and the violin. Music was in the young man's blood as the son of concert violinist, Jacques Dauvergne, who taught his son to play the instrument and set him on the road to what would be an illustrious career.
Whilst performing in Clemont-Ferrand he attracted influential patrons who financed the violinist on his trip to Paris, where he arrived in his mid-twenties. He published his first sonatas in 1740 and that same year married Marie de Saint-Roch Filtz; the couple would have one son, who did not survive infancy.
Happily ensconced in the capital, Dauvergne's professional successes gathered speed and he followed numerous well-received compositions and symphonies with a number of acclaimed operas and ballets. He was particularly known for Les Troqueurs, which had an enormous influence on the opéra comique world in France.
A particular favour of Louis XV, Dauvergne was Master of the Chambre du Roi for almost a decade and Director of the Opéra on multiple occasions from 1769 to 1790. He was hugely popular at Versailles and served as a court composer, often performing as well as providing musical tuition to members of the royal family.
When Revolution came to Paris, Dauvergne fled the city for Nice, where he remained until his death.