Jean Marie [l'ainé] Leclair

(1697 - 1764)

French violinist and composer. Danced at the Lyons opera; traveled to Turin in 1722, perhaps studying violin under Somis; went to Paris the following year, publishing his op. 1 sonatas and gaining the support of the Bonnier family. Quantz relates that Leclair was in Turin as a pupil of Somis in 1726-1 returning to Paris in 1728, he issued his op. 2 sonatas, made an acclaimed debut at the Concert spirituel,journeyed to London to arrange Walsh's publication of his sonatas, and appeared with Locatelli before the court at Kassel. In 1730 he married the engraver Louise Roussel, who prepared for printing all of his works from op. 2 on. Named ordinaire de la musiqueby Louis XV in 1733, he resigned in 1737 after a clash with Guidon over control of the musique du Roy;he was engaged by Princess Anne of Orange, a fine harpsichordist and former student of Handel, and from 1738 until 1743 served three months annually at her court, working in The Hague as a private maestro di cappellafor the remainder of the year. Returned to Paris in 1743; his only opera, Scylla et Glaucus,premiered in 1746. From 1740 to his murder in 1764 he served the Duke of Gramont. Leclair was renowned as a violinist and as a composer; he successfully drew upon all of Europe's national styles; many suites, sonatas, and concertos survive along with his opera, while some vocal works, ballets, and other stage music is lost.

A Partial Jean-Marie Leclair Discography | VIIC: Concerts Spirituel