Pierre Gaviniès

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Pierre Gaviniès

Pierre Gaviniès (Bordeaux 11 May 1728 – Paris 8 September 1800) was a French violinist, pedagogue and composer.


Son of a luthier, Gaviniès was taken to Paris by his father in 1734. At age 13 he made his debut at the Concert Spirituel in Les Tuileries playing a Jean-Marie Leclair sonata for two violins.[1] Sometime around 1753 he received a prison sentence as the result of an affair with a Countess.[2]

In 1762 he reached the peak of his career. Giovanni Battista Viotti described him as the French Tartini, a singular compliment. Jean Godefroy Eckhard, Leduc L’Ainé, Rodolphe Kreutzer, and Romain de Brasseure dedicated works to him. The cellist Martin Berteau named a sonata “La Gavinies”.

His seminal work is the 24 Matinées published in 1794, a compilation of violin studies that includes extremely complex passages with the main goal of developing bowing facility.

Gaviniès taught violin at the Paris Conservatoire from 1795 until his death.


  • Opus 1 - 6 sonatas for violin 1760
  • Le Prétendu Intermède, Italian comedy in 3 acts (première in Paris on 6 November 1760)
  • Recueil d'airs à 3 parties for two violins, alto and basse continue 1763
  • Opus 3 - 6 sonatas for violin 1764
  • Opus 4 - 6 sonatas for violin 1764
  • 2 Suites on Christmas 1764
  • 3 sonates for violin solo (including Le Tombeau de Gaviniès) 1770
  • Opus 5 - 6 sonates for violin 1774
  • His best-known work is the collection Les Vingt-quatre Matinées, a set of étude-caprices for the violin which appeared in 1794.


  1. ^ Zdenko Silvela (2001). A New History of Violin Playing: The Vibrato and Lambert Massart's Revolutionary Discovery. Universal-Publishers. p. 88,91,92. ISBN 978-1-58112-667-9.
  2. ^ Bertil van Boer (5 April 2012). Historical Dictionary of Music of the Classical Period. Scarecrow Press. p. 219. ISBN 978-0-8108-7386-5.

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