Lambert Joseph Meerts

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Lambert Joseph Meerts (6 January 1802 - 11 May 1863) was a Belgian violinist and violin teacher. He was the first violin teacher at the Brussels Royal Conservatory to publish pedagogical materials and received international attention for his works.

Biography

Born in Brussels in 1802, Lambert-Joseph Meerts was originally destined to be a merchant but a change in his family’s fortune pushed him towards a career in music. At 14 years old he was working in the theater of Antwerp helping actors learn their parts and playing first violin in the orchestra. He studied with the Italian violinist Fridzeri who had settled in Antwerp. Meerts travelled often to Paris to take lessons from Lafont, Habeneck and Baillot. In 1823 he married Jeanne Vander Plancken most likely the daughter of the first violinist of the Brussels court orchestra. Fétis says that Meerts was active as a teacher upon his return to Brussels in 1828, when he also became a violinist in the city orchestra. From 1832 to 1836 he was the violin soloist of the orchestra. At this point Fétis’ biography is heavily biased as Meerts became his student for composition in 1833. Fétis claims that Meerts’ “revolutions” in violin pedagogy are based on his own method of teaching composition. While Fétis claims that Meerts became a professor of violin at the Brussels conservatory in 1835, according to the school’s archive he was teaching beginning violinists. Fétis also neglects the 4 year absence from the conservatory which the archives attribute to mental illness. During this time he was replaced by Hubert Léonard. Upon Meerts’ return in 1853 he was professor of violin for orchestral playing until his death in 1863. He was knighted in the Order of Léopold in 1855. Le Guide musical of 20 August 1857 describes his teaching as:

The students of M. Meerts are distinguished more by a correct and exact execution than an elegance of phrase. M. Meerts does not have the pretentions to train soloists, believe us; his goal is to train good, solid musicians who upon leaving his class can honorably take their place in an orchestra. His system of teaching has been accepted by most of the conservatories of Europe.

Teachers

Teaching

  • 1836-1849 – Brussels Royal Conservatory (Beginning Violin Class)
  • 1853-1863 – Brussels Royal Conservatory (Violin for Orchestral Playing)


Pieces de concours

  • Concours de Violon 1857, Classe de M. Meerts (B-Bc ARC-M-87, BBr Ms II 4958 Mus)
  • Concours de Violon 1858, Classe de M. Meerts (B-Bc ARC-M-87)
  • Concours de Violon 1860, Classe de M. Meerts (B-Bc ARC-M-93)
  • Concours de Violon 1861, Classe de M. Meerts (B-Bc ARC-M-93)
  • Concours de Violon 1863, Classe de M. Meerts, Fragment d'un Quatuor de M. Fétis (B-Bc ARC-M-93)

Notable Students


Works

  • 12 Études élémentaires pour violon (B-Bc 8928, B-Bc 24209)
  • Trois études brillantes (B-Bc 8929, B-Bc 24208)
  • Douze études … dans les deuxième & quatrième positions (B-Bc 8930)
  • Études rythmiques (12 volumes) (B-Bc 8931, B-Bc 24207)
  • Études (B-Bc 24211)
  • Fantaisie brilliant pour deux violons (B-Lc)
  • 6 Fantaisies en style fugue (B-Lc)
  • Gammes et mélodies (B-Lc)
  • Le mécanisme du violon (B-Bc 24212, B-Bc 43545)
  • Le mécanisme de l’archet (B-Bc 24543)
  • Variations fantaisies (B-Bc 43608)
  • 6 fantaisies caractéristiques (?)
  • Méthode élémentaire de violon (B-Bc P-2-1070) (Part 1 only)
  • Thême varié (B-Lc, NL-DHk)
  • 4° Concerto pour violon (B-Bc OMO 677 - missing solo part)
  • Fantaisie pour les 1er violons avec orchestre (B-Bc OMO 679 - missing 1st violin parts)
  • 6 Fantaisies en style fugue (F-Pn)
  • Quatre sonatines(GB-Lbl)


Works with A. Michelet (Michelot)

  • Variations fantaisies pour piano et violon (F-Pn)


Lost works

  • 3 Violin concertos
  • Méthode élémentaire de violon (part 2)
  • 10 Études


Available Online