Jules Garcin

Jules Garcin in 1891 by Pierre Petit

Jules Auguste Garcin [Salomon] (11 July 1830 – 10 October 1896) was a French violinist, conductor and composer of the 19th century.

He was born in Bourges. His maternal grandfather, Joseph Garcin, was director of a travelling company playing opéra comique in the central and southern provinces of France.

Having entered the Paris Conservatoire in adolescence, studying under Clavel and Alard, Garcin took the premier prix for violin in 1853, and entered the Opéra orchestra in 1856.

He became solo violinist, then third conductor in 1871 and finally chief conductor in 1885. His long and successful teaching career at the Conservatoire de Paris began in 1875.

Among his notable students were the child prodigy Henri Marteau (1874–1934) and Jules Boucherit (1877–1962). Garcin’s association with the Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire began in 1860, again as orchestral and then as solo violinist.[1]

In 1885 he was elected principal conductor of the Conservatoire concerts. In this post he actively promoted German choral and symphonic masterpieces, from Bach’s Mass in B minor (in 1891) to works of Brahms and Wagner (Brahms’s music was then the object of much adverse criticism in Paris during the Franco-Prussian War). He was a founder-member of the Société Nationale de Musique in 1871. He wrote some music (including a violin concerto and viola concertino), a certain amount of which was published by Lemoine (some now in US-Bp).

Franck’s Symphony in D minor premiere took place on February 17, 1889 at the Paris Conservatoire under the direction of Jules Garcin.

This Symphony was dedicated to Henri Duparc, who was a member of “la bande á Franck” at the Conservatoire, along with Vincent D’Indy, Emmanuel Chabrier, and Paul Dukas. Three years later in 1892, Garcin retired and relinquished the post due to illness, but continued teaching. He died in Paris in 1896.

Performed on violins by Antonio Stradivari "Il Cremonese" 1715 (now known as the Ex-Joachim), Antonio Stradivari, Cremona 1731 (now known as the Ex-Garcin), as well as "Le Messie" copy of 1868 by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume.[2]


2d prix, solfège, 1843; 1r prix 1844. 2d prix, violin, 1851; 1r prix 1853. Orch. Opéra (later solo; 3e chef 1871; chef 1885). Prof. au Conservatoire (violon, 1875). Acad. 1880. Instruc. Légion d'Honneur 1889. Founding member, Société Nationale de Musique, 1871. Founded an annual prize for the Conservatoire laureat in violin.


As a performer on the violin, he was a thorough artist, free from mannerisms which detract from real musicianship.
Alberto Bachmann, 1925.[3]

Selected compositions


  1. Grove Dictionary - DAVID CHARLTON
  2. Filimonov Fine Violins
  3. Encyclopedia of the Violin - Alberto Bachmann

External links

Preceded by
Edouard Deldevez
Principal conductors, Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire which later became Orchestre de Paris
Succeeded by
Paul Taffanel
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