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 1863, 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 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 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 metal illness. During this time he was replaced by his student Hubert Léonard. Upon Meerts’ return in 1853 he was indeed professor of violin until his death in 1863. He 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

  • 1816 – Alexandro Marie Antoin Fridzeri in Antwerp
  • 1816-1828 – Occasional lessons with Charles Philippe Lafont, François Habeneck and Pierre Baillot in Paris

Teaching

  • 1836-1849 – Brussels Royal Conservatory (Taught beginning violin)
  • 1853-1863 – Brussels Royal Conservatory


Pieces de concours

Notable Students

  • Henri Vieuxtemps – Professor at the Brussels Conservatory(1871-1873 and honorary professor from 1875-1879)
  • Hubert Léonard – Professor at the Brussels Conservatory (1849-1851 when he replaced Meerts and 1853-1866)
  • Jean Baptiste Colyns – Professor at the Brussels Conservatory (1860-1902)
  • Joseph Joachim – According to Fétis


Works

  • 12 Études élémentaires pour violon (BBc 8928, BBc 24209)
  • Trois études brillantes (BBc 8929, BBc 24208)
  • Douze études … dans les deuxième & quatrième positions (BBc 8930)
  • Études rythmiques (12 volumes) (BBc 8931, BBc 24207)
  • Études (BBc 24211)
  • Le mécanisme du violon (BBc 24212)
  • Le mécanisme de l’archet (BBc 24543)
  • Variations fantaisies (BBc 43608)
  • 6 fantaisies caractéristiques (?)


Unlocated works

  • Méthode élémentaire de violon
  • Quatre sonatines
  • 6 Fantaisies en style fugue
  • Thême varié
  • 10 Études


Available Online


Literature