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Jacques Hotteterre

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Jacques-Martin Hotteterre (September 29, 1674 - July 16, 1763), also known as Jacques Martin or Jacques Hotteterre, was a French composer and flautist. Jacques-Martin Hotteterre was the most celebrated of a family of wind instrument makers and wind performers.

Born in Paris, he was was the son of Martin Hotteterre (d. 1712) and Marie Crespy. As early as 1689 or 1692, Jacques-Martin Hotteterre may have held a post as basse de hautbois et basse de violon in the royal court, but it is possible that the Jacques Hotteterre in this post was an older relative of Jacques-Martin’s , who had been earlier employed as a musician in the English Royal court.

Hotteterre lived and studied in Rome early in his career, and his nickname le Romain (the Roman) came from this period. He spent two years (1698-1700) in the employ of Prince Francesco Ruspoili in Rome, before adopting the nickname of “Le Romain” at some point between 1705 and 1707. By 1708, he became a musician to the king of France, in the king’s ‘Grande Écurie, and in 1717, he inherited René Pignon Descoteaux’s post as Jouëur de Fluste de la musique de chambre By 1743, he was listed among the most famous musicians in France.

Hotteterre owed his fame largely to his talent playing the flute, an instrument for which he wrote a number of pieces, significantly extending the repertory for the instrument. In addition, he played the bassoon, oboe, and musette. Jacque-Martin Hotteterre was also an internationally celebrated teacher to aristocratic patrons, and he wrote a few methods for the transverse flute. His L’Art de préluder sur la flûte traversière (1719) is an excellent source on ornamentation and improvisational practices during this period.

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