Jean Vuillermoz

Portrait of Jean Vuillermoz. Source: Vuillermoz collection

Born in Monaco on 29 December 1906, Jean Vuillermoz was initiated into music at an early age by his father, the famous horn player Édouard Vuillermoz.

After moving to Paris at age 19 to study at the Conservatoire National, he became a composer, conductor and radio producer. He also penned some superb harmonisations of folk songs for mixed choir (two 16th-century songs) and male-voice choir (three Renaissance songs, with orchestral accompaniment).

Among the most significant works by Vuillermoz are a “Concerto for horn and orchestra”, the ballet “Veglione”, the cantata for choirs and orchestra on a poem by Anatole France, “Ode à la lumière”, and the orchestral suite “Le Tombeau d’Anna Favlova”.

The most notable of his divertimenti for orchestra is the “Promenade zoologique” – humorous tableaux evoking life at Vincennes zoo, near the composer’s home. Little of his compositional work was published, most remaining in the form of manuscripts in elegant, careful calligraphy, dating from the years preceding the Second World War.

Jean Vuillermoz was a sensitive artist, an enthusiast who gave his all without seeking fame or fortune.

He was particularly attached to his family, and his wife and three children were sacred to him.

A member of the 22nd Fortress Infantry Regiment, he was killed while patrolling the Maginot Line on 21 June 1940, at Drachenbronn (Bas-Rhin).



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