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Daniel François Esprit Auber

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Biography

Daniel François Esprit Auber (29 January 1782 – 13 May 1871) was a French composer.

The son of a Paris print-seller, Auber was born in Caen in Normandy. Though his father expected him to continue in the print-selling business, he also allowed his son to learn how to play several musical instruments. His first teacher was the Tirolean composer, Josef Alois Ladurner (1769 – 1851). At the age of 20 Auber was sent to London for business training, but he was obliged to leave England in 1804 as a result of the breach of the Treaty of Amiens (1804).

Auber had already attempted musical composition, and at this period produced several concertos pour basse, modeled after violoncellist Lamarre, in whose name they were published. The praise given to his concerto for the violin, which was played at the Paris Conservatoire by Mazas, encouraged him to undertake a resetting of an old comic opera, Julie (1811). He also began to study with the renowned Luigi Cherubini.

In 1813 the unfavourable reception of his one-act debut opera Le séjour militaire put an end for some years to his attempts as composer. But his failure in business, and the death of his father in 1819, compelled him once more to turn to music. He produced another opera, Le testament et les billets-doux (1819), which was no better received than the former. But he persevered, and the next year was rewarded by the complete success of La bergère châtelaine, an opera in three acts.

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