(Louis) Charles Sauvageau. Conductor, composer, teacher, b Quebec City October or November 1807, d there 16 Jun 1849. The circumstances of his birth have remained mysterious, and different dates (eg, 9 May 1804 have been advanced, but at his death the age of 41 years and 8 months was given. He was largely self-taught but probably received some training from Jean-Chrysostome Brauneis
I. With his brother Benjamin he played 1831-2 under Brauneis in a band organized by Joseph-François-Xavier Perrault, colonel of the Quebec militia. Sauvageau formed quadrille band in 1833 which he led until his death, when Benjamin replaced him. He also led other bands and orchestras which are referred to in contemporary sources under a confusing variety of names, including the Quebec Militia Artillery Band (1833-6?), the band of the Petit Séminaire (1841-4), where he taught 1841-9, Musique Canadienne
(beginning in 1842), the band for the St Jean-Baptiste Society (from 1842), and the Quebec Philharmonic Union (1848-9). Sauvageau also organized concerts and informal musical evenings with his best private pupils and other players, and late in life he operated a music store. His son Flavien (b 1831, a child prodigy of the violin) died in the tragic fire at the St-Louis theatre 12 Jun 1846. Joseph Lyonnais
was another pupil. Napoléon Aubin
became his brother-in-law. Sauvageau was probably the first Quebec native to devote his life to music. Le Ménestrel
(15 Aug 1844) described him as 'notre musicien national.' However, his few compositions are but pale imitations of the popular music of his day.
2 Valses. Pf. Aubin 1840
'Le Dépit amoureux' (Aubin). 1840. V (tune by Aubin), piano (accompaniment by Sauvageau). Aubin & Rowen /CMH, vol 7
2 Valses (arr W.H. Warren). Literary Garland, vol 3, Sep 1841
'Chant canadien: Noble patron' (F.R. Angers). 1843. V, piano. (Sung at banquet of St-Jean-Baptiste Association, Quebec City Jun 1843). Aubin & Rowen 1843/Sénécal, Daniel & Cie 1859/ J de L'Instruction publique, Jun 1859. Also voice. Chansonnier des Collèges, 3rd ed 1860
Le Ménestrel printed a number of Sauvageau's compositions in 1844: Valse du Ménestrel; Gallopade; Solo de Violin sur D'Auld Robin Grey; 'Chant national' (F.M. Derome), sung at the banquet of the St-Jean-Baptiste Association.
- ed. Notions élémentaires de musique, tirées des meilleurs auteurs et mises en ordre par Charles Sauvageau (Quebec City 1844)
Roy, P.-G. 'Le jeune prodige Flavien Sauvageau,' BRH, vol 43, Jun 1937
- 'A propos de musique,' ibid, Dec 1937
Malouin-Gélinas, France. 'La vie musicale à Québec 1840-1845,' CMB, 7, Autumn-Winter 1973
Émond, Vivianne. '"Musique et musiciens à Québec: souvenirs d'un amateur" de Nazaire LeVasseur (1848-1927): étude critique,' M MUS thesis, Laval University 1986
Grégoire-Reid, Claire. 'Les manuels de théorie musicale publiés au Québec entre 1811 et 1911,' M MUS thesis, Laval University 1987
DCB, vol 7
Links to Other Sites
A biography of Charles Sauvageau, musician, conductor, teacher, composer, author, and music dealer. From the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.