Martin Berteau

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Martin Bertau (Nicolas-Bernard Lépicié)

Martin Berteau (c. 1700? in Valenciennes – c. 1770? in Angers) was a French cellist, cello teacher, and composer. He is widely regarded as the founder of the French school of cello playing.[1]


Descriptions of Berteau's life are often unreliable and exaggerated. As a result, little is certain about his life.[1] He probably studied viola da gamba in Germany with Bohemian, Kozecz. J.-F. Fétis, who wrote a Biographie universelle des musiciens (1835-1844) and said that Berteau made his debut on the cello in 1739 at the Concert Spirituel, playing his own concerto.[2] However, his name is not mentioned in any media of the time, and nether his concerto nor sketches of it have been found. The only reference of his name was made by Jean-Jacques Rousseau who mentioned having heard Berteau perform in Paris in 1753.[1][3]


With the exception of a few cello sonatas, much of Berteau's work has been lost. For many decades Berteau’s well known Cello Sonata in G major, Op.25 was credited to the Italian composer Giovanni Battista Sammartini.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Gagnon, Marie-Elaine. "The Influence of the French Cello School in North America". Retrieved April 21, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Martin Berteau and the Cello in France". Retrieved April 21, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Berteau, Martin (1691-1771) - Cellist". Retrieved April 21, 2012. 

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