Henry Expert

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Henry Expert (1863-1952)

French musicologist (b. 12 May 1863 [N.S.] in Bordeaux; d. 18 August 1952 in Tourrettes-sur-Loup).

A graduate of the École Niedermeyer in Paris, Expert subsequently devoted himself mainly to the study of the Franco-Flemish composers of the 16th century. He was appointed a professor at the École des hautes études in 1902 and in the following year he founded the Societé d'études musicales et de concerts historiques. Expert served as Librarian of the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève from 1905 to 1909 and as Librarian of the Paris Conservatoire from 1909 to 1933. A key figure in the reappraisal of French music from the Renaissance era, one of his most important publications was Les Maîtres musiciens de la Renaissance française (23 vols, 1894–1908).

The young Expert wrote to Tchaikovsky in the autumn of 1884 to invite him to become an honorary member of the Société J. S. Bach which he intended to set up in Paris and which was to organize regular historical concerts. Although Tchaikovsky — like Grieg, Gounod and Saint-Saëns — gladly accepted this invitation, Expert's ambitious plan came to nothing because of lack of financial support.

Correspondence with Tchaikovsky

One letter from Tchaikovsky to Henry Expert has survived, dating from 1884:

2 letters from Henry Expert to Tchaikovsky, dating from 1884, have survived in the archive of the Klin House-Museum [1].

Notes and References

  1. They have been published (in Russian translation only) in: Чайковский и зарубежные музыканты (1970), p. 174–175.