Onslow was a French composer of English origins. He was the son of an English aristocrat who immigrated to France in 1781 and married a local lady. Even though he spent the bulk of his life and career in France, he studied piano in England and Germany and stayed in touch with the English musical scene. While his popularity did not endure long after his passing, he was often grouped alongside Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Mendelssohn throughout his lifetime. Berlioz pointed to him as one of France's artistic glories, mentioning that he "worn the scepter of instrumental music" since Beethoven's passing. He took over as director of the Académie des Beaux-Arts from Cherubini in 1842.
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