Louis Adam

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Louis Adam
Jean Louis Adam.jpg
Johann Ludwig Adam

(1758-12-03)3 December 1758
Died8 April 1848(1848-04-08) (aged 89)
Paris, France
Other namesJean-Louis Adam
  • pianist
  • music professor
  • composer
RelativesAdolphe Adam (son)

Louis Adam or Jean-Louis Adam (born as Johann Ludwig 3 December 1758, Alsace, France – 8 April 1848) was a French composer, music teacher, and piano virtuoso.[1] His son, Adolphe Adam, was the composer of the score for the ballet Giselle.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Muttersholtz, Alsace, the son of Mathias Adam and Marie-Dorothée Meyer, Adam went to Paris in 1775 to study piano and harpsichord with Jean-Frédéric Edelmann. He spent over four decades, from 1797 through 1842, as Professor of Pianoforte at the Conservatoire de Paris, retiring in 1842 (at age 84), and died in the city, aged 89. As professor, he was the teacher of a number of notable students, including Joseph Daussoigne-Méhul,[2] Friedrich Kalkbrenner,[3] Ferdinand Hérold,[3] and Henry Lemoine.[3]

In addition to being a skilled pianist, he composed a number of piano pieces that were in vogue at the time, especially some variations on Le bon roi Dagobert. He also wrote two standard instruction books for piano: Méthode ou principe générale du doigté pour le Forté-piano (1798) and Méthode nouvelle pour le Piano (1802). In 1804 he published an influential work: Méthode de piano du Conservatoire, which contributed to the advancement of piano technique in Paris.[1]

Adam was married three times. His second wife was the sister of the Count de Louvois; the couple had a daughter, Sophie, later married to Colonel Genot. After his separation, Adam remarried to Elisabeth-Charlotte-Jeanne (known as Élisa) Coste, daughter of a doctor. The couple had two boys: Adolphe-Charles (1803) (future popular composer, author including the ballet "Giselle", the comic opera "The Postillon of Lonjumeau" and the Christmas carol "Midnight, Christians") and Alphonse Hippolyte (1808).


  1. ^ a b Baker, Theodore (1905). "Adam, Louis. A Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, p. 3. G. Schirmer
  2. ^ Havard de la Montagne, Denis. "Joseph Daussoigne-Méhul". www.musimem.com.
  3. ^ a b c Brubaker, Bruce and Gottlieb, Jane; eds. (2000). Pianist, Scholar, Connoisseur: Essays in Honor of Jacob Lateiner, p.39. Pendragon. ISBN 978-1-57647-001-5.

External links[edit]