Lucien-Léon Guillaume Lambert

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Lucien-Leon Guillaume Lambert or Lucien Lambert, Jr. (1858–1945) was a French pianist and composer of African-American Creole descent. His family was noted for talent in music and gained international acclaim.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Lucien-Leon Lambert was the son of New Orleans composer Charles Lucien Lambert, who married a French woman and emigrated from the U.S. in 1854. Lambert, Jr. studied music with his father, and also Theodore Dubois and Jules Massenet. After completing his studies, he worked as a musician and composer. His Promethee enchaine won the Prix Rossini in 1885.[2]

After a successful career in France, Lambert relocated to Portugal where he worked as pianist in the Royal court of Portugal, along with his uncle Sidney Lambert. In the 1870s he was recognized by the King Dom Pedro for innovations in music. In 1905 he recorded three wax cylinders for the Pathe Company in Lisbon, thought to be the first classical music recordings made by a performer of African descent.[3]

Lambert is sometimes listed as Lucien Lambert fils (son) and his works are often confused with those of his father. His papers are housed in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris.


Selected works include:

  • Promethee enchaine
  • Gottschalk: Hymno brazileiro- Variacoes (recorded by Pathe 37630)
  • Gottschalk: Tarantelle (recorded by Pathe 37631)
  • Schumann: Prophet Bird, #7 from Waldszenen, Op. 82 (recorded by Pathe 37632)
  • Prelude, fugue et postlude


  1. ^ Macdonald, Robert R.; Kemp, John R.; Haas, Edward F. (1979). Louisiana's Black heritage. 
  2. ^ "Lucien-Leon Guillaume Lambert, Jr. (1858-1945)". Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  3. ^ Methuen-Campbell, James (1984). Catalogue of Recordings by Classical Pianists, Volume 1. Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire.