Jullien was born in Sisteron, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, and was baptised Louis George Maurice Adolphe Roche Albert Abel Antonio Alexandre Noë Jean Lucien Daniel Eugène Joseph-le-brun Joseph-Barême Thomas Thomas Thomas-Thomas Pierre Arbon Pierre-Maurel Barthélemi Artus Alphonse Bertrand Dieudonné Emanuel Josué Vincent Luc Michel Jules-de-la-plane Jules-Bazin Julio César Jullien (his thirty-six Christian names having been bestowed by members of the Sisteron Philharmonic), and studied at the Paris Conservatoire.
His fondness for the lighter forms of music cost him his position in the school, and after conducting the band of the Jardin Turc he was compelled to leave Paris to escape his creditors, and came to London, where he formed a good orchestra and established promenade concerts. Subsequently he travelled to Scotland, Ireland and America with his orchestra. For many years he was a familiar figure in the world of popular music in England, and his portly form with its gorgeous waistcoats occurs very often in the early volumes of Punch.
He brought out an opera, Pietro il grande, at Covent Garden (1852) on a scale of magnificence that ruined him, for the piece was a complete failure, despite the presence of Enrico Tamberlik in the title-role. He was in America until 1854, when he returned to London for a short time; ultimately he went back to Paris, where, in 1859, he was arrested for debt and put into prison.
He died in an asylum at Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, but was still remembered in London twenty years after his death: he was described as "Jullien, the eminent musico" in W. S. Gilbert's libretto for Patience (1881).
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Jullien, Louis Antoine". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press
- Louis Jullien : Musique, Spectacle et Folie au XIXe Siècle by Michel Faul (Alantica, 2006 ISBN 2-35165-038-7)
- Louis Jullien site (French)