Rodolphe Kreutzer was a student of Anton Stamitz and obtained early royal favor as a violinist. He was the son of a wind player and violin tutor in the Swiss Guard of the Duc de Choiseul in Paris. In the years after the French Revolution, he began to work as a composer, violinist, and teacher. He was in Napoleon's service and taught at what would become the Paris Conservatoire. His solo career came to an end in 1810, but with the return of the empire, he rose to the role of maître de chapelle du roi in 1815, followed by a position as conductor at the Opéra. Beethoven's so-called "Kreutzer" Sonata was dedicated to him during his encounter with him in Vienna in 1804.
Kreutzer composed 42 operas, 12 of which he collaborated on with other composers. Both violinists are acquainted with Kreutzer's 42 Études ou Caprices, which remain at the center of every violinist's schooling. His 19 violin concertos are now regarded as instructional pieces rather than works for public performance. His brother Jean Nicolas Auguste and son Léon Charles François were both artists, with the former being a violinist and the latter being a composer and music journalist.
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