Jean-François Bellon (1795-1867)
Jean-François Bellon was a Paris-based violinist and composer. As a result of the
Waterloo War in 1815, his training at the Paris Conservatoire was delayed, so it was at
the advanced age of 28 that he won the violin prize there. While at the Conservatoire he
also composed pieces for fellow students.
Bellon went on to play in many popular Paris orchestras of his day, and was also the
inventor of a type of mute for the violin and cello, which he patented, and examples of
which are still kept in the Paris Conservatoire Museum. He became the leader of the Musard
Orchestra in Paris and it was probably drawing on the brass section of this orchestra that
he was able to form an ensemble to perform his Quintets.
As a violinist however, his writing for brass is typical of string chamber music,
particularly the string quartet, a quality which not only led to more individually
sculpted part-writing for each instrument than was common in contemporary brass chamber
music, but also the influence of string articulation and phrasing in Bellons score