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François Georges Auguste DAUVERNÉ


French virtuoso trumpetist, pedagogue and compositor (1799-1874)





FGA DAUVERNE was born in Paris, 2nd arrondissement, on Pluviose 28th, year VII after the French revolutionary calendar (February 16th, 1799).

At the age o f12, he started studying the French horn but soon dropped that instrument in favour of the trumpet under the guidance of his uncle Joseph David Buhl 1791 1860 altogether music leader of King Louis XVIII’s cavalry body guards and 1st solo trumpet of the French national opera house and the royal Italian theatre in Paris.




FGA Dauverné quickly mastered his instrument to such an extent that he was to join the king’s personal orchestra where he was accepted the first of july, 1814 as third class musician, though he was just over fifteen years old at the time.On February first, 1824, he was promoted second class musician and remained attached to this orchestra until the 1830 revolutionary events, his contract ending officially on the 24th of august 1830.






On January 1st, 1820, F.G.A. Dauverné was offered the post of 1st trumpet in the Opera having previously passed the competition, although he was barely 21 one years old. (He kept the post during thirty one years and retiIn the orchestra he used a natural trumpet with a circular pavillon, manufactured by trumpet maker Raoux, from 1820 to 1826. He used also the key trumpet notably in Ipsiboe (1824), in Kreutzer’s opera; then the natural straight trumpet (reintroduced in the opera house as soon as in 1826 and then the chromatic trumpet and indoubtedly the valve cornet in 1829, since the post of solo cornet was first created in the year only on the first of  july 1851.




A much recognized trumpet virtuoso, Dauverné passed too in November 1929 the competitive exam leading to the position of first trumpet of the royal chapel. This post was short-lived because the 1830  Revolution led to the disappearance of the whole institution. When King Louis Philippe a little later returned to power, he re-established the Royal Chapel. Dauverné was thus  and restored in his earlier position and held it continuously till the next 1848 revolution which consequently suppressed the royal musical orchestra.


In june 1833 Luigi Cherubini (1760 1843) then at the head of the conservatory of music in Paris, chose Dauverné as professor of the first trumpet class, a brand new department whose creation was demanded by Cherubini himself. Professor Dauverné taught the art of the trumpet for many years. He eventually retired from the academy in January 1868. Together with working for the academy, Dauverné taught his art at the military music gymnasium from 1849 to 1856, until the school closed. Meanwhile, he was appointed Captain and conducted the national guard orchestra from 1848 to 1852.







In November 1826, the conductor François Antoine. Habeneck (1781 – 1849) a keen admirer of LV Beethoven, invited a number of musicians friends of his, most of them working for the opera house to join in for a reading of the Heroic symphony. D. Buhl and Dauverné took part in that first rehearsal. The event roused such a wave of enthusiasm among the musicians and the audience that the idea of founding the orchestra of the Academy concert society emerged gradually and was effective two years later. Dauverné was of course called as solo trumpet in the young symphony ensemble.



Very soon, Dauverné was highly recognized for his instrument skills. In 1835, conductor and composer Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) had a good mind to set up a series of concerts with a new orchestra made up with the best musicians in Paris. The trumpeter took part in the two great concerts conducted by Berlioz, on the 22nd of November and the 13th of December 1835. Their program included “Harold in Italy”, and the “Fantastic symphony”. It is highly likely that Dauverné, according to his position, took part in the next Berlioz’s world firsts. The composer alluded to Dauverné in his memoirs about the latter’s engagement in the “grand mass of the dead” (requiem), whose world first took place in the Invalides, on the 5th of December 1837, Habeneck conducting.Berlioz picked Dauverné as first trumpet.




As a pedagogue, F.G.A. Dauverné produced pedagogic treaties of great value such as :


“a theory of notation tablature for the valve cornet” (1827),

“a method for the valve cornet” (1824),

a “theory and practice of the valve or cylinder cornet” (1824)

Without forgetting his master piece, the well-known

“method for the trumpet” dated 1856.


We owe him, too, several educational works, dedicated to his own instrument, among which we find several booklets for concert duets, and solos, for his students’ training for competitions.


As obvious in his “method for the trumpet”, Dauverné witnessed the evolution of the natural trumpet towards the new chromatic one. In fact, as soon as 1826, when the valve cornet reached France, Dauverné did his best to convince many composers to take a growing interest in the new chromatic instrument in f and its future possibilities. Hector Berlioz was soon convinced and used it in his “Waveley overture” (1827), so followed G. Rossini (1792 1886) who did the same in his “William Tell” (given at the Paris opera house in 1829). Even Giacomo Meyerbeer bestowed the chromatic cornet a great role in his “Robert-le-Diable” particularly in the ritornello and final trio of the fifth act (that opera was created in Paris on the 21st of november 1831).


Let us note that in 1840, Meyerbeer brought along from Berlin a beautiful slide trumpet, made by the French maker Antoine Courtois, as a gift for Dauverné who played it until 1846 when he handed it as a gift, too, to his student Jules Henri Louis Cerclier (1823-1897), the winner that year of the Paris Academy of music competition. (that instrument was then exhibited at the universal exhibition in Paris in 1889).






François Georges Auguste Dauverné was made knight of the Legion of Honour, by the 14th of august, 1868 decret, for his meritorious achievements at a time when is still was professor in the national academy of music. In 1869, his student, J. H. L. Cerclier replaced him as teacher for the trumpet class.




The civil state registers record F.G.A. Dauverné being wed on the 27th of april, 1850. His yearly income as solo trumpet at the opera house amounted to 2 000 francs starting June 1st, 1835. He will benefit of that same sum only thirty three years later when he played for the imperial academy, the very year when he resigned as a professor in 1868.


The documents consulted in different civil administrations mention that Dauverné lived most of his life in Paris, in different places : 11 rue de la bibliothèque, 33 rue de l’arbre sec (1831), 2 chaussée des Martyrs, 29 rue Lamartine (1850).


F.G.A. Dauverné died in Paris, 6th arrondissement, on the 4th of November, 1874 at the age of 75.


Keen witness of his time, Dauverné experienced the industrial revolution century, when modern sides affected numerous fields, among which the instrumental manufacture was taking much importance. Dauverné, on that subject, did take an active part to the technical transition between tradition and modernism.


Because of his personal involvement, as an artist and as a pedagogue, François Georges Auguste Dauverné deserves the title, in France, of “father” of the trumpet new school.











  • Doblinger Musikhaus Musikverlag (Wien) :

- Variations for Trumpet and Piano (Op.3) ;

- Concerting Duo for military trumpets (in C) ;


• Sempre Più Editions (Paris) :

- 20 Study for chromatic Trumpet ;

  • BIM editions/The Brass Press :

-  « Coup d’État musical du 2 décembre 1864 » triumphal march for 7 natural trumpets,

-   50 Fanfares for 2 trumpets (Op. 4) ;

-   8 Solos for trumpet and orchestra (1860) :

-          Thème varié in E ;

-          Concertino in D ;

-          Fantaisie in Eb ;

-          Thème varié in F;

-          Allegro marziale in F ;

-          Thème varié in C ;

-          Fantaisie in Eb ;

-          Polonaise in F.





Notes :

(1) cf. ordonnance de Charles X du 26 juillet 1829.

(2)The first  representation of this work de cet ouvrage novateur, was performed at the Royal Music Academy on the 31st of march, 1824. According to another source, it would bet Baumann, and not Dauverné, who performed at the key trumpet part.

(3) According to Georges Kastner, the Royal Music Academy orchestra in 1851 was composed like following  (family of brass instruments) :

- 4 french horns, 2 trumpets, 1 key trumpet, 2 walve cornets, 3 trombons et 1 ophicléïde.

At the trumpets, D. Buhl and his nephew Dauverné worked as a team for many years.

Then, the trumpet pupitre : Dauverné/Gambatti brothers (1828) ;  Dauverné/Bolreaux/Kresser, Schiltz (1837) etc.


(4) By arrété of the state minister on the 13th of may, 1862, Dauverné was named member of the comitee of the musical studies of the conservatory, altogether with his two partners : François Bazin and Henri Reber.

On top of the numerous jury done in the Conservatory for different levels (music reading, chant, instrument), Dauverné, as the comitee reportermany times had to deliver his advice concerning the opportunity of new training works publication as well as for correcting and inventing new instruments.


(5) These soli for trumpet chromatique in different tunes, were imposed for the Conservatoire competitions, swith no interruption from 1835 to 1882, (that is for 47 years… !), then respectively in 1885, in 1886, in 1889, in 1893,  and in 1900,so far after Dauverné's retirement.

(6) Dauverné used the first trumpet with two valves, the one  Meyerbeer had brought from Berlin for the shows of "Robert le Diable".

(7) The technical new realizations made by the Germain instrument manufacture have much attracted everyone's interest. Consequently,  composor and conductor Gaspare Spontini (1774-1851), Count of de Saint-Andrea, who was living in Berlin in 1820 (he was in charge of the general musical direction of the king of Prussia), brought about in Paris, in the early days of october 1826, several valves instruments perfectionnés par Stoelzel : French horns, valve trumpets and cornets. The trumpets (with 3 valves) were sent to David Buhl and to Dauverné. The latter experienced the new instrument, the sonority and even sound of which were far from perfect. With the help of the french instrument manufacturers, Dauverné brought up some improvements to the valve trumpet. FGA Dauverné was quick to present the instrument which was first played on the 29th of June 1827 at the Royal music Academy orchestra, in the opera "Macbeth" by composer  André-Hippolyte Chelard (born in 1789).

(8) FGA Dauverné was promoted the imperial order of the Légion d'honneur for 35 years of  service at the Conservatory (The same year, we find composer Camille Saint-Saëns, who had the same distinction).

Dauverné learned about this as he was staying in Grenoble on the 14th of aôut, 1868 by a telegraph sent to the competition jury for the choir and orpheonic societies. Placed under the presidency of Hector Berlioz, the commission counts famous artists from Paris : Dauverné, François Bazin, Victor Massé, Elwart, Paulus (Garde Républicaine conductor) etc. Many concerts were organized for that occasion, among which one with double harmony orchestras.  A group composed with several musicians from diffirent military orchestras playet for Hector Berlioz. who appeared badly tired because of his illness. These musical reunions were organized too for the inauguration of  Napoléon the Ist statue in the Place of the Préfecture of the Dauphiné capitale. Considering the great number of musicians from all over France, plus the presence of many tourists, the city administration boasted the number of 100 000 persons who attended the Festival of Grenoble, where Berlioz, the city child, was the focus of all attentions. Certains observateurs considérairent que les marques de sympathie témoignées à Berlioz furent une sorte d'apothéose, dont les manifestations prirent l'allure de funérailles anticipées, le compositeur de la "Symphonie Fantastique" devant ne plus réapparaître publiquement jusqu'à sa disparition, le 08 mars 1869.


(9) Parmi les élèves de FGA Dauverné qui s'illustrèrent particulièrement, outre Arban et Cerclier, citons : Messemer (attaché à la musique de l'Empereur de Russie), Edmond et Ferdinand Dubois, Guérin, Trian, Michiels, Lallemant, Saint-Jacome, Chavanne etc.

(10) Pour sa présence au sein de ces deux instituions, la somme de ses revenus annuels était de 4000 francs, soit une estimation à nos jours de 18 400 euros (c’est à dire un peu plus de 1500 euros mensuels).

(11) Anecdote : Lors d'un jury d'un concours d'orphéons, organisé à Epernon, près de Reims, le 26 mai 1867, le plancher de l'estrade où se trouvaient les membres de la commission s'écroula. François Dauverné eu le bras gauche cassé et la main luxée. Par chance, deux médecins présents parmi les personnalités purent réduire la fracture et prodiguer rapidement au blessé les soins nécessaires.


(12) De par sa position d'instrumentiste et de professeur (il fut également élu au comité de l'Association des artistes musiciens) et compte tenu de sa participation à de nombreux jurys de concours, Dauverné cotoya les personnalités musicales suivantes (liste non exhaustive) : Adolphe Adam, Auber, Hector Berlioz, Luigi Cherubini, Félicien David, Léo Delibes, Antoine Elwart, François Habeneck, Halévy, Georges Kastner,  Klosé, Meyerbeer, Pasdeloup, G. Rossini, Spontini, Ambroise Thomas, Adolphe Sax.


Sources :


- Actes d'état civil - registres de la Légion d'honneur : Archives de Paris - Archives Nationales (Paris) ;

- Portrait et photographies : Bibliothèque Nationale de France ;

- « Biographie universelle des musiciens et bibliographie générale de la musique » par F.J. Fétis (Firmin-Didot Paris 1866-1868) ;

- « De la trompette et du cornet à pistons » par F.G.A. Dauverné in « Encyclopédie pittoresque dela musique » par A. Ledhuy et H. Bertini (H. Delloye, Éditeur Paris 1835) ;

- « Histoire de la société des concerts du conservatoire impérial de musique » par A. Elwart (Castel Paris 1864) ;

- « Le Conservatoire national de musique et de déclamation » par Constant Pierre - Paris 1900 ;

- « Les facteurs d'instruments de musique » par Constant Pierre - Éditions Sagot - Paris 1893 ;

- « Le Musée du Conservatoire de Musique » par Gustave Chouquet - Paris 1875 & 1884 ;

- « l'Orchestre de l'Opéra de Paris de 1669 à nos jours » par Agnès Terrier - Éditions de la Martinière 2003 ;

- Berlioz. La voix du romantisme. Ouvrage collectif. Bibliothèque nationale de France - 2003 ;

- Hector Berlioz « Mémoires » - Flammarion Paris 1991 ;

- « Joseph Arban (1825-1889) » par Jean-Pierre Mathez- Editions Bim - Moudon 1977 ;

- Frédéric Robert in « Dictionnaire de la musique en France au XIX° Siècle » par Joël-Marie Fauquet - Fayard ;

- Edward H. Tarr in "Grove Dictionnary".

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