Hubert Léonard received first lessons from his father and private lessons from Auguste Rouma (1802–1874), he made his debut in 1832 in Liège. He then studied violin, harmony and composition with François Prume in Brussels and from 1836 to 1839 with François-Antoine habeneck in Paris, before traveling to Leipzig following Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy's call . In him he found an excellent teacher and expert on German musical life. In 1845 his Violin Concerto No. 1 was performed in the Gewandhaus under Mendelssohn. Léonard performed Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64, in Berlin in 1846. He had a close friendship with his compatriot Henri Vieuxtemps since 1841.
From 1845 to 1848 he made concert tours throughout Europe, in 1853 he became professor at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels as the successor to Charles-Auguste de Bériot . In 1866, after a dispute with the director of the Conservatory François-Joseph Fétis, he settled in Paris, where he worked as a soloist, composer and teacher. During the Franco-German War from 1870 to 1872 he taught at the Liège Conservatory. Well-known students were Martin Marsick and César Thomson (1857–1931), also from Liège, and Henri Marteau (1874–1934), Frantz Jehin-Prume and Ovide Musin, and the Canadian Alfred De Sève .
Léonard's work was inspired by the classical spirit of his time, the elegance and sensitivity that also distinguished Mendelssohn. His works have been almost completely forgotten and are almost only played for study purposes. His cadences to violin concertos by other composers have outlasted him. As a violinist, what made him stand out was his musicality rather than his virtuosity.
Léonard composed 5 violin concertos (Op. 10, 14, 16, 26 and 28), chamber music, around 10 fantasies, numerous didactic works and cadenzas for violin concertos.
- Thierry Levaux: Le Dictionnaire des Compositeurs de Belgique du Moyen Age à nos jours , p 394-395, Editions: "Art in Belgium" in 2006, ISBN 2-930338-37-7
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||Belgian violinist and composer|
|DATE OF BIRTH||April 7, 1819|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Liege|
|DATE OF DEATH||May 6, 1890|
|Place of death||Paris|