User:Tbrown10/Josephine Boudreaux

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Josephine Boudreaux, 1898-1993[edit]

Early Life[edit]

Josephine Boudreaux was born in Crowley, Louisiana on May 28, 1898[1], the daughter of Philippe Mozart Boudreaux and Margarite Octavine Clotiaux.[2] At the age of seven Josephine moved to Houston, Texas with her family. There she studied violin with Professor Emil S. Lindenburg (d. 1919). For the 1916-17 and 1917-18 seasons she was a young member of the Houston Symphony. She played violin with the orchestra at the Isis Theatre, part of the Saenger Amusement Company theater chain. After four years at the Isis, she raised enough money to study in Europe.[3]

Studies Abroad[edit]

Miss Boudreaux departed Houston in June 1921 to study at the newly formed American Conservatory at Fontainebleau, where she won first prize for violin with Edouard Lalo’s Symphonie Espanol.[4] At the conservatory’s inaugural ceremony on she heard speeches by Walter Damrosch, president of the American Friends of French Musicians and originator of the Fontainebleau Conservatory, and by composer Camille Saint-Saëns, who died later that year. Among the other students of that first class was the young composer Aaron Copland.[5]

By February of 1922 she was studying with Maurice Hewitt (1884-1971), a member of the Capet Quartet[6], as well as Lucien Capet. After her first summer, she won a scholarship for the second summer at the Conservatoire and continued her studies with Capet and Hewitt.[7] [8]

She also studied for two years under composer Jenő Hubay, director of the national conservatory at Budapest, and studied ensemble there with Adolph Schiffer, head of the cello department, playing in a string quartet with Schiffer.[9] [10]

Miss Boudreaux arranged to study with Otakar Ševčík in Pisek, Czechoslovakia in 1924.[11] Her concerts in the succeeding years met with critical success. [12] [13] “It was a great success for Josephine Boudreaux, the American violinist, at her concert in Salle Pleyel. Her technique places her in the very first rank violinistically and her interpretation evidences a deep musical and artistic sense. A brilliant future is opening for this young artist.” [14]

Musical Career[edit]

After six years of studying abroad, she returned to Texas in 1927.[15] She embarked on a number public concerts beginning in March 1928, the first with pianist Patricio Gutierrez (1896-1985). [16]

Boudreaux announced her availability to teach violin and for professional appearances in the fall of 1928.[17] During that period she was forming her chamber ensemble, the Houston String Quartet.[18] By 1929 the group was called the Boudreaux String Quartet, whose other members included Octave Pimbert, second violin, Grace Keller, viola, and Athelstan R. Charlton, cello.[19]

The Houston Symphony Orchestra Association engaged the Boudreaux String Quartet to perform a series of three chamber music concerts to be held in the homes of Association members for the 1929-1930 season.[20] This partnership continued for the 1930-1931 season.[21] These performances engendered a renewed interest in re-forming the Houston Symphony orchestra, which had been disbanded in 1918.[22] With Josephine Boudreaux as concert master, the Houston Symphony was reconstituted, performing two concerts in May of 1931.[23]

Miss Boudreaux was enlisted as concertmaster for the upcoming season, and Uriel Nespoli became the new conductor.[24] She was featured soloist several times during her career with the Houston Symphony, and widely praised for her part in the January 1936 performance of Saint-Saens’ Prelude to the Deluge, Dr. Alfred Hertz conducting.[25]

Other conductors she served as concertmaster were Frank St. Leger and Ernst Hoffman (1899-1956), with whom she gave her last concert as concertmaster in January, 1937.[26] After leaving the orchestra she continued to teach generations of violinists, one of whom was Fredell Lack. Miss Boudreaux died August 11, 1993 in Houston, Texas.[27]


  1. ^ U.S. Passport Applications, January 2, 1906-March 31, 1925; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M1490, 2740 rolls); General Records of the Department of State, Record Group 59; National Archives, Washington, D.C.
  2. ^ 1900 U.S. Federal Census. T623, 1854 rolls. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.
  3. ^ Houston Post, September 25, 1921, “Hopes Realized by Friends of Young Violinist.”
  4. ^ Houston Chronicle, September 21, 1921, “Houston Girl Wins First Prize in French Conservatory Contest.”
  5. ^ New York Times – Paris Edition, June 27, 1921, “French School for American Students Open Brilliantly.”
  6. ^ Houston Chronicle, 1924, “How Two Houston Girls Worked To Pay For Musical Education.”
  7. ^ Houston Post, September 25, 1921, “Hopes Realized by Friends of Young Violinist.”
  8. ^ 'Houston Chronicle', February 19, 1928, “Miss Boudreaux to Give Concert at Cathedral.”
  9. ^ Houston Press, September 8, 1928, “Young Artist to Teach Violin.”
  10. ^ The Houston Gargoyle, November 29, 1929, “Lyres and Easels” by Ruth West.
  11. ^ Houston Post-Dispatch, August 30, 1927, “Returns from Abroad.”
  12. ^ Le Gaulois, Paris, May 16, 1927.
  13. ^ Le Courier, Paris, June 1, 1927.
  14. ^ Le Figaro, Paris, May 25, 1927.
  15. ^ Houston Post-Dispatch, August 30, 1927, “Returns from Abroad.”
  16. ^ Houston Chronicle, March 11, 1928, “Violin Teacher Lauds Recital of Miss Boudreaux.”
  17. ^ Houston Press, 9/8/1928, “Young Artist to Teach Violin.”
  18. ^ Houston Chronicle, November 18, 1928, “Program Given as Memorial to Franz Schubert.”
  19. ^ Houston Chronicle, September 8, 1929, “The Listening Post,” by Ina Gillespie.
  20. ^ Houston Chronicle, December 15, 1929, “Boudreaux String Quartet is to be Heard Monday.”
  21. ^ Houston Chronicle, November 16, 1930, “Boudreaux String Quartet, Now in Second Season Here, Shows Real Progress, Reviewer Says,” by Ina Gillespie.
  22. ^ Houston Chronicle, May 4, 1931, “Interest Shown in Concerts of New Orchestra.”
  23. ^ Houston Press, May 7, 1931, “Houston Symphony Orchestra Reborn.”
  24. ^ The Houston Chronicle, June 23, 1931, “Symphony Ass’n Hears Report on Plans for Season.”
  25. ^ Houston Chronicle, January 14, 1936, “Program of Varied Moods and Rare Beauty Offered by Symphony Orchestra
  26. ^ Houston Symphony Archives, RG11, Series 1: Programs: The Houston Symphony Society, January 11, 1937.
  27. ^ Texas Department of Health. Texas Death Indexes, 1964-1998. Austin, TX. State Vital Statistics Unit, 19xx-.