Jean-Louis Duport

Jean-Louis Duport


• 1749 1819


A member of The Duport family of cellists and composers. Jean-Louis studied with his brother and was playing with virtoustic acclaim by the age of 18. He was compared with the violinist Viotti and later performed for Marie-Antoinette with Viotti. When the Revolution occurred, Duport went to Prussia where he wrote a treatise on playing the cello ("Essai sur la doigte du violoncelle et sur la conduite de l'archet") which was published in Paris in 1813 only after the inclusion of 21 exercises. The significance of this work was its thoroughness describing such fundamentals as methods, clefs, fingering, and the holding and tuning of the cello. It is the foundation of modern cello performance methods. He returned to Paris in 1806 and taught at the court of Charles IV in Marseilles, and, again in Paris from 1813 to 1816. Duport's compositions included sonatas and concertos for his instrument requiring virtuostic techniques.