Robert Nicolas-Charles Bochsa

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Robert Nicolas-Charles Bochsa (born August 9, 1789 in Montmédy ( Département Meuse ), † January 6, 1856 in Sydney ) was a French composer and harp virtuoso .

Robert Nicolas-Charles Bochsa, lithograph by Joseph Kriehuber 1842


The son of Charles Bochsa, who gave him his first piano lessons, performed as a pianist and flutist at the age of seven. In Bordeaux he took composition lessons from Franz Ignaz Beck . At the age of 16 he composed the opera Trajan , which Napoleon I heard in Lyon . From 1807 he studied at the Paris Conservatory , where he mainly devoted himself to playing the harp. He composed many works for this instrument and also wrote a harp school. In 1813 he was appointed harpist to Emperor Napoléon . However, this did not prevent him from writing the music for the royalist opera Le Roi et la Ligue on the occasion of the return of the Bourbons . The then celebrated composer of several operas married Georgette Ducrest in 1815. In 1817 he had to flee to London because of irregularities. In 1839 he kidnapped the wife Anna Rivière-Bishop of the English ballet and opera composer Henry Rowley Bishop . With her, a singer, he went on extensive art tours and died in Sydney in 1856 .


  • Michel Faul: Nicolas-Charles Bochsa, harpiste, compositeur, escroc (editions Delatour France, 2003)
  • Michel Faul: Les tribulations mexicaines de Nicolas-Charles Bochsa, harpiste (editions Delatour France, 2006)

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