Nicolas Lambert Wéry

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Nicolas Lambert Wéry (9 May 1789 - 6 October 1867) was a Belgian violinist and violin teacher active in France and Belgium.


Nicolas Lambert Wéry was born in Huy, Belgium and began studying violin at an extremely young age with Charles Delhaise. From 1805 to 1807 he studied violin in Liège with Léonard-Joseph Gaillard. In 1807 Wéry was forced to end his studies due to obbligatory military service in the French army. His regiment was stationed in Metz, France but after about a year he was authorized to return to his family. After two months in Huy he decided to return to Metz to establish himself as a musician. Wéry performed in various towns while travelling to Metz and upon arriving at Sedan, France, decided to take advantage of the professional possibilities there and made it his home. He lived in Sedan until 1822, the while time travelling periodically to Paris to study with Pierre-Marie-François de Sales Baillot. After leaving Sedan he moved briefly to Paris where he was named the director of concerts at Wauxhall where he performed his first violin concerto but left the city soon ater upon learning that the position of first violin to the king of the Netherlands, which at that time also included Belgium, had become free. Wéry obtained the position with the support of the Prince of Chimay as well as the minister of public education. Wéry taught at the forerunners of the current Brussels Royal Conservatory from 1822 until 1834 and at the newly conservatory from 1834 until 1860. Wéry published more than 50 works and Fétis refers to others in manuscript which have not been located. While his playing and teaching were well respected by his colleagues and the press, he is viewed as slightly old school in comparison with his colleagues Lambert-Joseph Meerts and Charles-Auguste de Bériot. In 1837 he purchased a Stradivarius violin of which we have no trace. He gave frequent concerts in his home beginning in the 1850's and continuing until his death. In 1857 he received the Sainte-Hélène medal from the French government for his military service as well as being a knight in the Order of Léopold. The records of the Brussels conservatory show that Wéry had intended to continue teaching longer but his repeated demands for a higher salary, which were always refused, led to his retirement in 1860. Various letters and records in the conservatories library and archives point to conflict between Wéry and the director François Joseph Fétis. Most likely Fétis saw Wéry's presence as a symbol of the former French and Dutch governments and as an outdated style. Wéry continued to teach privately until his death in 1867. The majority of his works can be found in the library of teh Brussels conservatories and many works are in the private library of the Prince of Chimay.