Jean-Francois Dandrieu was a French composer, harpsichordist and organist. Despite being largely unknown today in his time he was considered very highly – just below the likes of Couperin and Rameau.
He was born into a wealthy musical and artistic family and showed a rare gift early on in life. His first performance being at the age of five in front of King Louis XIV of France. (Not something your average five year old does!)
He became a student of Jean Baptiste Moreau (who was the music master of King Louis XIV).
Career and Compositions
Aged eighteen Dandrieu started playing the organ at Saint Merry Church in Paris – he was formally appointed into this post in 1705 as titular organist and held this post until his death.
At the same time he produced his first significant collection of chamber works the Livre de sonates en trio, Op. 1. Along with Livre de sonates, Op. 2, from 1710, these works illustrated Dandrieu’s talent for chamber music. Further pieces include Pièces de clavecin courtes et faciles de quatre tons différents.
In 1706 Dandrieu was on a panel examining Jean Philippe Rameau’s abilities to become organist of the Sainte-Madeleine en la Cité church. Bizarrely a post Rameau declined!
Dandrieu secured his most distinguished post in 1721 as one of four organists at the royal chapel
He added a further post to his portfolio in 1733 succeeding his uncle at St. Barthelemy.
He never married and died in Paris on January 17, 1738.