(Many thanks to my friend Ole J. Utnes for the english version !)
(1933 - 2012)
"There are lives and
there are destinies. Maurice Andre's career belongs to the second
God put an amazing musical gift in his hands, his father gave him the trumpet, the mine gave him the force and the moral values,
Léon Barthélémy saw in this adolescent a prodigy, Raymond Sabarich taught him and his wife Liliane has followed
him and supported him all along his career. This is what I call Destiny, a destiny of light. Without destiny there cannot be
any genius. Work is not enough for Men, God has to mix in."
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxJean-Michel René SOUCHE (Jan LEONTSKY)
Maurice ANDRE with his two sisters, around 1935Midilibre.2008
Maurice André was born in the suburb of Ales (Gard), in the
of France, the land of olive trees and sun.
He was born in the little miner city of Rochebelle. His father was a miner but also a good trumpet player.
The young child lived in the little miner's city and began to know about trumpet through his father, Marcel-Jean André.
Maurice's father was playing in the Mine's Harmony and also in the Band of Alès.
He played very often for balls or under musical gazebos (kiosques.) In 1944, WWII compelled Maurice's father to send his son far
from Alès, in Lozčre, a very rural department. This is where young Maurice began to study solfeggio,
during two years, before having touched a single instrument. The brother of Marcel-Jean André, Jean André, studied in Paris Conservatory
and after, joined the Navy Band of Toulon. He completed his career at Nîmes Conservatory where
he was followed by Raymond André (brother of our trumpetist). What a family of musicians !
Father of Maurice ANDRE (center)
Marcel-Jean ANDRE playing the trumpet. © Brass Bulletin 1978.
ANDRE was a simple man who taught the real values to his
Maurice remembers that, in the house of his childhood, there was only benches around the fireplace.
His father said : "When we'll be able to buy a chair, it will be already the beginning of egoism."
father who bought Maurice his first cornet Couesnon ( which was in
a gift from another person,
simply because Maurice's family wasn't rich enough to buy such an expensive horn.) Maurice André soon appeared to be a real prodigy.
He began to play with his father. Mr. Barthelemy (former Merri Franquin's pupil), professor at Nîmes Conservatoire was the first
to notice the huge talent of the young cornet player.
Barthelemy said to me : "The trumpet is
a rebarbative instrument one must
take with gentleness."
André : " I owe a great deal to this little phrase."
on the left : Léon Barthélémy
"My father, Léon Barthélemy and
are the three space rockets that launched me to the top. I, of course, do not
forget Liliane, my wife." M.A
Barthélémy was the first teacher of Maurice and
he directed him in
the right way : hard work.
Despite exhausting labor in the mine, Maurice kept on playing. A very serious accident was about to kill him.
He took some necessary rest but he kept on blowing. The passion for trumpet was already in his heart and it would never go away.
The opportunity of joining the 8th transmission regiment was offered to Maurice.
He went to Paris at the age of 18. In 1951, he entered the Conservatoire (Street of Madrid) in
the Class of the famous and handsome Raymond Sabarich. There, he worked hard, because Sabarich was a rude master, yet, very fair one.
Raymond Sabarich - ©Archives Selmer
"There are many workers but a few artists"
(Sabarich speaking about musicians)
(MA interviewed by JP Mathez)
won the first trumpet price in 1953. His career had begun and
would never stop.
He then entered the Philharmonic orchestra of the Société des Conservatoires,
playing second trumpet , while Louis Menardi was playing the first one. Maurice played
an Aubertin trumpet at that time (during 5 years).
1953, Maurice was solo trumpet at the Concerts Lamoureux, yet, he
played a lot, everywhere :
Medrano Circus, Mogador Theater...and finally he was engaged in the Philharmonic Orchestra of the French Radio (ORTF orchestra).
the ORTF Orchestra
in Bade-Godesberg (Bonn) in 1969
playing Jolivet's Concerto
In 1954, Maurice André won the Geneva International musical price of interpretation.
He began to work as a soloist. He played new repertories - unknown until then - and he touched a larger and larger audience.
By his work, his curiosity, his meridional (southern) strength, Maurice André was "raising trumpet to the top."
: defy and glory
At the age of 30, Maurice ,who was originally called to Munich to participate in the jury of this great trumpet
competition, decided - upon Roger Delmotte's advice - to register as a candidate to the Munich Trumpet competition
(age limit was 30. And he was precisely 30...)He won the first price : from this very moment, he entered the "hall of fame".
In concerts after concerts, he played the 2nd Brandenburg concerto - as Scherbaum did all his life.
This music masterpiece has been one of the most famous music pieces in his large repertoire.
He met the greatest musicians of his time : Karajan (pronounce "Karjan", as Maurice does), Richter, Munchinger....
At that period, for some years, he could have given over 250 concerts.
The pedagogue and the mediatic
In 1964, Maurice André was nominated as a professor at the Paris Conservatoire (it was Sabarich's post.)
He was teaching there with Ludovic Vaillant (Foveau's successor) and Roger Delmotte.
Among André's famous pupils we will mention : Guy Touvron, Bernard Soustrot, Thierry Caens and Jacques Jarmasson.
By Maurice's suggestion, the city of Paris created the International Trumpet Competition (The Maurice André competition.)
creation of the Maurice Andre's international
trumpet competition is one of my greatest joys." M.A
From the early 90s, the great artist left Paris and moved to the Basque country, where he still lives.
His way of life is very simple and the peace of this land offers him the possibility to practice
his other passion : woodcarving (sculpture in wood.)
In later years, his children, Beatrice (oboe) and Nicolas (trumpet) have joined their father to play in
a trio all around Europe. These concerts are very famous and allow us to hear the great master
one more time. Very seldom, during all his life, Maurice Andre has "taken a nap" - "Faire la plancha"
("taking a nap" in south dialect, means : taking some rest, sleeping.)
He worked all his life, improving techniques, learning new things, re-discovering so many forgotten music pieces...
He met many people, from every part of the world. Finally, he simply helped keeping trumpet music alive.
And these are the real manifestations of... a true genius.
Maurice Andre died in the
night, between the 25th and the 26th of February 2012, in the hospital
He once engraved on a sculpture he had made in memory of his dear friend Jean-Pierre RAMPAL (1922–2000) the following words :
"Thank you- even though you are absent from us, you are immortal through your art, and therefore always with us."
1987 : Victories of classical music
2000 : Gold medal from Arts,Sciences and Letters french academy
2006 : American people vote for him as the "Best trumpet player in the world"
TOP 12 brass players of the XXth
Maurice André (848)
Louis Armstrong (649)
Wynton Marsalis (485)
Arnold Jacobs (431)
Miles Davis (394)
Adolph Herseth (305)
Dennis Brain (276)
Dizzy Gillespie (263)
Christian Lindberg (243)
Philip Jones (173)
Maynard Ferguson (171)
Herman Baumann (160)
(Source : Brass Bulletin)
FRANCE : National Order of the Legion of Honor
ENGLAND : Member of the Royal Academy
Maurice ANDRE with his wife Liliane, a discreet woman,
with high human qualities, who greatly contributed to the career of the Master.
They celebrated their 50 wedding anniversary in June 2006.
The last 21st of May 2008, Maurice André was 75 years old.
The city of Alès organized a great homage to the trumpet player.
See the program of this celebration
Look at a tv reportage, realised during this great event.
MAURICE ANDRE'S LAST CONCERT
BEZIERS - FRANCE - 9th October 2008
St NAZAIRE Cathedral
Last 20th february 2009, french TV channel France 3 offered a 1 hour documentary
about Maurice ANDRE : "Maurice ANDRE, intime"
"Without Liliane, nothing would have been the same. She played
a primordial role at every moment of my career." M.A
Famous ANDRE's trio
(from left to right) Nicolas, Maurice and Beatrice
(copyright. Nelly Eschke)