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Maurice André

 B i o g r a p h y

Maurice André was born May 21th, 1933, into a miner's family in Ales in the Cevennes. His father was an amateur trumpet player and a great music lover. He played in the small villages and one day he came back with an old cornet. Maurice who then was 12 ½ years old had done his solfeggio for two years. He fell in love with the instrument: "Dad gave me Lily Lily Bye Bye and other little love songs to play... after 5 days I could play these melodies (they were quarter notes followed by half notes). He got me hooked onto this, then he taught me popular songs."

His father also did a great thing when he sent Maurice to study with a friend of his, Monsieur Leon Barthélémy who had studied at the Paris Conservatory under Professor Merri Franquin (1848-1934).

With Barthélémy, Maurice had to buy method books like Arban and as he says: "the great method which I practiced with M. Barthélémy, that of Merri Franquin. Yes, the method .. the question of soft and loud attacks, all kinds of tonguing. He stuffed me full of these tonguing exercises, pianissimo without forcing the high register or the low. You know, looking back I look on Franquin's method as one of the best."

After 4 years study, Barthélémy told his father that he had to get Maurice, who then was working in the mine, to Paris to study at the Conservatory. But being a miner he could not afford that. Then Barthélémy got the idea that  Maurice should try to become a member of a military band. Soon after,  Maurice was in Mont-Valerien with the 8th regiment. At the Conservatory you could get a free place as member of a military band. At 18, Maurice left the mine and entered the Paris Conservatory in the class of Professor Raymond Sabarich (1909-1966).
On photos from that time one can see Maurice in the trumpet class in a military uniform.
It was not an easy time in Paris without any money, a son of a miner.  He always ate at the barracks, and studied in the barracks too. Raymond Sabarich soon discovered that this young miner was a great talent and he gave Maurice a "lesson" that he recall in this way in an interview: 3 months after my arrival in Paris, a good lad from the south and all that, Sabarich gave me a real piece of his mind. He had felt straight away that I was gifted, as is said, and so he loaded me with work… and I didn't deliver the goods as he wished. After 3 months he threw abuse at me and chucked me out of the class. Before his death - poor man  -  Sabarich always said: "lt's when Maurice André woke up.''  How a good scolding does one good occasionally !

After 3 months with a lot of practice, Maurice returned and played all the 14 etudes from Arban (in the back of the book) without making any mistakes.

The prizewinner
After only 6 months of work in Paris, studying the cornet, he won the first prize. The next year he won the first prize for trumpet.  Then in 1955 he won the first prize at the Geneva International Competition. In 1963 when he was 30 years old he was asked to become a member of the jury in the "Internationalen Wettbewerb in München". He then discovered that he could take part in the competition and he did and won the first prize.

The solo artist
The prize in 1963 was the start of his solo career. Prior to that he had played trumpet in several orchestras like Orchestre Philharmonique del la R.T.F. and Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux.
A very important person for his solo career was a girl he met in Montreux in Suisse, Liliane. 6 months after they met, they got married.
Liliane saw the potential he had and became his manager and companion on his tours. When Maurice started out as a soloist there were very little music for trumpet and the trumpet was not considered a solo instrument like the violin, oboe and some of the other instruments. To add to the repertoire, Maurice transcribed solo concerts for violin, oboe and other instruments. He also started using the piccolo trumpet. Today there are more than 130 transcriptions for the piccolo trumpet and some of the pieces, like the Tartini Concerto in D major for Trumpet and Orchestra (originally for violin), transcribed by Jean Thilde is very popular and several trumpet artists are performing it now.
Maurice André has toured all over the world and played with a lot of the great conductors and great orchestras. In an interview 20 years ago (in 1978) he told Jean-Pierre Mathéz that he did 220 concerts that year and an average of 180 so that up to 1978 he must have done more than 2700 concerts.
The recording artist
In addition to all the concerts, Maurice André has done more than 300 recordings. He started recording when the LP-format arrived in the early 60's. Many of the early records was made for the french label Erato. In later years he has also done several CD recordings. Some of the early LP's have been remastered to CD.
A conductor he recorded with in the early 60's, was Karl Richter
In 2003, Deutche Grammophon reissued this recording (on 2 CDs) called The Trumpet Shall Sound

 A l b u m s

La trompete de toutes mélodies (EMI, 1992)