Charles-Auguste de Bériot
born on 20/2/1802 in Leuven, Vlaanderen, Belgium
died on 8/4/1870 in Bruxelles, Belgium
Charles de Bériot
Charles Auguste de Bériot (20 February 1802 8 April 1870) was a Belgian violinist.
Born in Leuven, where there is now a street named in his honour, he moved to France in 1810, where he studied violin with Jean-Francois Tiby, a pupil of Giovanni Battista Viotti. He was later encouraged by Viotti himself and briefly worked with Baillot but did not embrace all their teachings and was also influenced by Paganini. He served as chamber violinist to King Charles X of France and to King William I of the Netherlands and toured with great success to London, Paris and the great music centres of Europe. In addition to playing the violin, he was a virtuosic pianist who toured through much of China despite the emperor's objections.
Bériot lived together with the opera singer Maria Malibran and had a child with her in 1833. They were married in 1836 when Malibran obtained an annulment of her previous marriage. Felix Mendelssohn wrote an aria accompanied by a solo violin especially for the couple. However, Malibran died the same year from injuries sustained in a fall from a horse.
After Malibran's death, de Bériot lived in Brussels, playing little in public. In 1841, however, he went on tour in Germany, where he met and married Marie Huber, daughter of a magistrate of Vienna.  Marie and de Bériot met in a café in his hometown, Leuven. They met through mutual friends and both played the piano quite well.
In 1842, Baillot died in Leuven at the age of 68, and his position as instructor at the Paris Conservatoire was offered to de Bériot. He rejected the offer, however, and in 1843 became chief violin instructor at the Brussels Conservatory where he established the Franco-Belgian school of violin playing. On account of failing eyesight he retired in 1852, and in 1858 became totally blind. Paralysis of the left arm ended his career in 1866. His most illustrious disciples were Hubert Léonard, Henri Vieuxtemps and Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst.
Bériot wrote a great amount of violin music including ten concertos, now rarely heard, although his pedagogical compositions are still of use for violin students. His son Charles-Wilfrid was a pianist who taught Granados, Ravel and Viñes.
A Summary of De Bériot's Repertoire: De Bériot's pioneering violin technique and Romantic composing style make his Concerti and Studies a vitally important stepping stone for the serious violin student wishing to enlarge his/her repertoire with the more famous Concerti by the Great Masters (Brahms, Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky). His most popular Concerti are number 9 in A minor Op.104 and number 7 in G major Op.76. On Audio CD, Naxos have recorded and are planning to complete their recordings of all his Violin Concerti. They have also excellent renditions of Vieuxtemps' Concerti, which follow on perfectly in a technical and stylistic way from De Bériot's Concerti (logical since Vieuxtemps was De Bériot's pupil and thus continued the same Franco-Belgian style of violin playing). Schirmer still publish his Violin Method Op.102 (alas only part 1) and His "First 30 Concert Studies" Op.123. Also, Peters Edition still publish the famous encore piece for violin and orchestra (in a reduced format for violin and piano) "Scene de Ballet" Op.100 Violin Concerto Database Selection of De Bériot's studies
- Famous Violinists of To-day and Yesterday by Henry Charles Lahee, 1856-1953 
- IMSLP - International Music Score Library Project's Charles de Bériot page.