Violinist, Composer, Teacher. A founder of the French school of violin playing and one of the outstanding virtuosos of his day. Beethoven's popular Violin Sonata Op. 47, better known as the "Kreutzer Sonata", was dedicated to him. Kreutzer was born in Versailles, France. He studied music with his father, a fiddler in the royal orchestra, and with Anton Stamitz before making his performing debut at age 12. Marie Antoinette sponsored his early career and he would later enjoy the patronage of Napoleon and the restored Bourbon monarchy. During the late 1790s he went on extensive concert tours of Europe, where his clear, direct style and improvisational skill won him many admirers. He met Beethoven in Vienna in 1798. Kreutzer was professor of violin at the Paris Conservatory from its founding in 1795 until 1826; along with Baillot and Rode, he created the violin method that is still taught there. In 1824 he was made a Knight of the Legion of Honor. His many compositions include 19 violin concertos and around 40 operas, but his influence rests on his instructive works, particularly the "42 Etudes or Caprices for Violin" (circa 1807). Kreutzer's association with the Beethoven sonata that bears his name was purely a fluke. It was originally written for English violinist George Augustus Bridgetower, who premiered the work with the composer in 1803, but the two had a falling out and Beethoven arbitrarily dedicated it to the Frenchman instead. Kreutzer found the piece "unintelligible" and never played it.
Bio by: Bobb Edwards
Rodolphe / Kreutzer / Membre / de la légion d’honneur / né à Versailles / le 16 novembre 1766 / mort à Genève / le 6 janvier 1830