The Early History

of the saxophone

in the Netherlands

Part ONe


Adolphe Sax (1814-1894)


Before reconstructing the way in which the introduction of the saxophone took place in the Netherlands, it is important to get an impression of the inventor of the instrument: Adolphe Sax. To this end, a brief biographical description of his life is given below. This paper, however, is not the place to assess his life in detail, since several works have already been published that do so excellently. For anyone who wants to learn more about Adolphe Sax, I warmly recommend studying Malou Haine's book: ‘Adolphe Sax, sa vie, son oeuvre, ses instrument de musique’ (Editions de l’Université de Bruxelles 1980). Frederick Hemke’s dissertation ‘The Early History of the Saxophone’, (University of Wisconsin 1975), is also a very thorough work, in which many sources are included in their entirety. In order to get a clear overview, however, it is less suitable because of its extensiveness.


Antoine-Joseph Sax, called Adolphe, was born November 6th1814 in Dinant, Belgium. His father Charles-Joseph was a musical instrument maker and thus Adolphe grew up amongst musical instruments. In 1815 Charles-Joseph Sax established his company in Brussels. Already at an early age, Adolphe was able to work on instruments. Before leaving for Paris in 1842, 6 patents were registered in his name, 1 The first saxophone is presented at an exhibition in Brussels in 1841. Because of Adolphe Sax’ young age he was not awarded the coveted gold medal for his invention at that time, but a lesser ‘Médaille de Vermeil’,2. In June 1842, Adolphe left for Paris to explore the possibilities of establishing himself there. In the capital, he met Hector Berlioz, among others, who wrote a report on Sax' new instrument, the saxophone, in the newspaper ‘Journal des Debats’of June 12th1842. Sax settled permanently in Paris in October of that year. At that moment a new chapter in his life begins, a turbulent existence in which successes and setbacks alternate rapidly. Sax' competitors leave no stone unturned in opposing him. Intrigues, trials and even an assassination follow. In 1846 he patented the saxophone. Inventing the saxophone is not the only merit of Adolphe Sax. He improved a large number of instruments, including the clarinet and the so-called saxhorns. He also developed rather exorbitant plans for a gigantic organ and even a cannon. Sax repeatedly found himself in major financial problems, mostly because of a string of lawsuits initiated by his competitors, resulting in a number of bankruptcies. He dies a poor man.


There is lack of clarity about Sax' date of death. Various sources such as ‘De Saxophone’ by E. Elsenaar mention February 4 as the date of death, Haine among others however mentions February 7th, 1894. The bronze plaque on the tomb of Sax at the Montmartre cemetery in Paris also states February 7th1894 as the date of death.

Atelier Adolphe Sax in Paris, pen drawing from Le Monde Illustré, November 30th1867

The saxophone in the Netherlands


The ‘Algemeen Handelsblad’ of September 6th 1842 reports, 3:


Eergisteren is den Heer Adolphe Sax, van Brussel, uitvinder van de Clarinette Cusse [sic] en van den zoogenaamden saxophon, instrumenten, die de bewondering van al de beroemde toonkunstenaren van het tegenwoordige tijdvak hebben uitgemaakt, de eer ten deel mogen vallen, zich bij den Koning te doen hooren, die hem tot dat einde in een bijzonder gehoor had toegelaten.

Het heeft Z.M. behaagd, den jeugdigen kunstenaar Hoogstdeszelfs tevredenheid en bijzondere belangstelling te betuigen over eene uitvinding, welke bestemd is, eenen zoo grooten invloed uit te oefenen op de vorderingen van het instrumentale onzer orkesten.


The day before yesterday, Mr Adolphe Sax, of Brussels, inventor of the Clarinette Cusse [sic] and of the so-called saxophone [sic], instruments, which have seen the admiration of all the famous composers of the present era, was bestowed the honour to be heard by the King, who had allowed him a special hearing to that end.


It has pleased H.R.H. to personally express satisfaction and special interest to the youthful artist about an invention, which is destined to exert great influence on the progress of our instrumental orchestras.



It is certainly not inconceivable that ‘an invention’ refers to the saxophone, and that Adolphe Sax thus presented the saxophone in the Netherlands as early as 1842. At that time, the King of the Netherlands was King Willem II. The fact that Charles-Joseph Sax could call himself purveyor to the court since 1818 (Haine, 1980, 30) may have helped in the realization of this audience. Starting in 1819 Charles-Joseph Sax supplied almost all instruments to the recently founded Belgian military orchestras. 4



The further introduction of the saxophone in the Netherlands is inextricably linked to the name Dunkler, as well as to Dutch military music.


In 1829 the Grenadiers Music Corps (muziekkorps der Grenadiers) was founded in the Netherlands. Their first chief conductor was François Dunkler Sr. (Rastatt, Germany 1779 – the Hague, Netherlands 1861), 5. In 1843, the merger of before mentioned Grenadiers Corps and the Hunters Corps (korps Jagers) took place. After that, the Dutch army had only one official orchestra: ‘The Grenadiers and Hunters’ (Grenadiers en Jagers). François Dunkler Sr. was succeeded on April 11th, 1849 by his son François Dunkler Jr. (Namur, Belgium, 1816- the Hague, Netherlands, 1878), 6. It is Dunkler Jr. who introduces the saxophones into his orchestra, 7. Unlike the current instrumentation of alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, the works of Dunkler published by Adolphe Sax include a complete saxophone quartet (including a soprano saxophone).


With the award of the designation ‘Royal’ to the band of Grenadiers and Hunters, the name of this orchestra changed in 1876 to ‘Royal Military Band’ (Koninklijke Militaire Kapel), 8. In more recent history, in 2005, this orchestra merged with the ‘Johan Willem Friso Kapel’. The new fusion orchestra performs under the name ‘Royal Military Band Johan Willem Friso’.


Reeds spoedig na de invoering in de militaire orkesten in Frankrijk nam ook Fr. Dunkler Jr. de saxofoon op in de bezetting van het muziekkorps der Grenadiers, 9.

Soon after its introduction into the military orchestras in France, Fr. Dunkler Jr. the saxophone in the occupation of the music corps of the Grenadiers,


On 1 March 1845 Adolphe Sax submitted a proposal to the French government to reorganise military orchestras.

Vooral zouden de technisch onvolmaakte instrumenten door betere vervangen moeten worden, waardoor op het aantal musici bezuinigd zou kunnen worden. Het nieuwe orkest verschilde in zoverre van het oude, dat Sax het getal der clarinetten (14 bij het oude militaire orkest) tot 6 verminderde, de hobo’s, fagotten en hoorns verwijderde en daarvoor een gedeeltelijk viervoudig bezette saxhoorn- resp. saxophonefamilie invoerde, 10

In particular, the technically imperfect instruments should be replaced by better ones, so that the number of musicians could be cut. The new orchestra differed from the old orchestra in that Sax reduced the number of clarinets (14 in the old military orchestra) to 6, removed the oboes, bassoons and horns, and for that purpose a partially quadruple-occupied sax horn resp. imported saxophone family,

After a public competition between two orchestras in the old and new line-up on the Paris marching field (where the Eiffel Tower is now located) on April 22nd 1845, the reorganization of the orchestration proposed by Sax became final on September 10th1845, 11. From that moment on the saxophone has been part of the standard instrumentation in France. Sax also received the Knight's Cross of the Order of the Oak Crown at that time. Elsenaar adds a footnote:

Wij vermoeden, dat deze onderscheiding door Koning Willem III is verleend op voorspraak van Fr. Dunkler Sr., dirigent van het muziekkorps der Grenadiers en Jagers, die, evenals zijn zoon en opvolger, onze vermaarde Dunkler, een groot vereerder was van Sax’ uitvindingen; beiden voerden deze bij hun korps in, 12.

We suspect that this award was granted by King Willem III on the recommendation of Fr. Dunkler Sr., conductor of the music corps of the Grenadiers and Hunters, who, like his son and successor, our renowned Dunkler, was a great worshiper of Sax's inventions; both introduced them to their corps, 12.

As mentioned before, it was shortly after the appointment of François Dunkler Jr. in 1849 that the saxophone was also introduced into military music in the Netherlands.


From an article in ‘Dagblad voor Zuidholland en 's Gravenhage’,13, it appears that there was personal contact between Dunkler and Sax. This article reports on a visit by Dunkler to Paris to study new inventions of Sax. Since Dunkler is received with all military honors in the country, this is probably Dunkler Jr., who at that time was the conductor of the Grenadiers and Hunters.


The same newspaper of June 10th 1857, 14 for the first time supplies information about Emile Dunkler (? 1838- den Haag 1871), son of François Dunkler Jr.:

Uit Parijs wordt met veel lof gewaagd van den heer Emile Dunkler, zoon van den verdienstelijken kapelmeester van het regement [sic] grenadiers en jagers , alhier in garnizoen. Deze jeugdige kunstenaar is herhaalde malen aldaar in verschillende concerten opgetreden, onder anderen in het Concert Musard, waar hij herhaaldelijk, met den meesten bijval, eene fantaisie op Thema's uit de Favorite, voor violoncel, heeft uitgevoerd, en met niet minder succes zich heeft doen hooren op de Saxophone, welk instr[u]ment hij, gedurende zijn kort verblijf te Parijs, meesterlijk heeft leeren bespelen. Emile Dunkler is een élève voor de violoncel van onzen bekwamen violoncelist bij de Koninklijke opera, den heer Giese; hij doet zijn' meester de meeste eer aan.


From Paris, much praise is given to Mr. Emile Dunkler, son of the meritorious bandmaster of the government [sic] grenadiers and hunters, here in garrison. This youthful artist has performed several times there in various concerts, among others in the Concert Musard, where he has repeatedly, with the greatest acclaim, performed a fantasy on Themes from the Favorite, for violoncello, and has performed with no less success hear on the Saxophone, which instrument he has masterfully learned to play during his short stay in Paris. Emile Dunkler is a legend for the violoncello of our skilled violoncellist at the Royal Opera, Mr. Giese; he honors his master the most.

In 1861 Emile Dunkler can be heard in the Netherlands, see plate 3.


Another announcement for the same concert states, 15 


Emilie Dunckler [sic], Violoncello Solo de la Musique Particulière de S.M. l’Empereur Napoleon III. Premier Saxophone des Guides Impériales de Paris, qui jouera en Uniforme, sur le Saxophone Alto.


Emilie Dunckler [sic], Violoncello Solo of the Particular Music of S.M. Emperor Napoleon III. First Saxophone of the Guides Impériales de Paris, who will play in Uniform, on the Alto Saxophone.


This shows that Emile Dunkler was indeed a successful saxophonist.


A review from the series of concerts mentioned above in‘Nieuw Amsterdamsch Handels- en Effectenblad’ of September 23rd 1861, 16 underlines this: ‘Mr. Dunkler, solo cellist of Napoleon III and first saxophone of the imperial guides, deserves ample praise.’


During the war of 1870 Emile Dunkler fled from Paris and moved to The Hague. There, in his parental home, he died in 1871, 17

Plate 3: Algemeen Handelsblad, September 9th 1861,6

A year earlier, in 1860 - six years before Adolphe Sax's first patent on the saxophone expired - the first announcement of a concert by a saxophonist by the name of Kinsbergen appeared.


I found a total of 82 articles in Dutch Newspapers between 1860 and 1900 with announcements or reviews by ‘Kinsbergen’. However, it soon became clear that it had to be two different people.


Between 1860 and 1862 the name L. Kinsbergen Mzn. appears. It is very likely that this is Leon Kinsbergen Mzn., born around 1843. ‘Mzn.’ was a common abbreviation behind the name at that time, 18 and in this case would indicate Manuszoon, Manus being the name of Leon Kinsbergen's father. Moreover, Leon Kinsbergen was registered in the population register as 'musician' at the time of his marriage to Rachel Velleman in 1867. Leon Kinsbergen and his wife Rachel had at least 6 children: Daatje, Mietje, Simon, Salomon, Mozes, and Manus. These names suggest that it is a Jewish family. Mozes Kinsbergen was a diamond worker, which could perhaps explain the charitable performances by Leon Kinsbergen for the diamond workers orphan fund,19. Son Manus is first registered in the population register as 'diamond cutter', later as 'musician', 20

Then, from 1862 onwards, the name ‘Jacq. S. Kinsbergen’, starts appearing in newspapers in various notations ('Jacq. Kinsbergen‘, later also ‘Jac. Kinsbergen‘,  ‘Jac. S. Kinsbergen‘, ‘Jacq. S. Kinsbergen‘). 

Various genealogical sources indicate that this person is Jacques Salomon Kinsbergen (born about 1839- deceased 1917), registered professions ‘music master‘ and ‘musician‘, 21. The fact that two musicians with almost the same name are so important to the early history of the saxophone is confusing and fascinating at the same time. Amongst the Kinsbergen family were, besides musicians and music teachers, a magician, a fireworks maker, a stage actor, an equestrian, a theatre director and an artist. The following information about these two people, which could be distilled from various newspaper articles, gives an excellent picture of the first use of the saxophone in the Netherlands.

Algemeen Handelsblad, November 17th 1860,

 Leon Kinsbergen Mzn. (Manuszoon) (about 1843 - ?)


As mentioned earlier, this saxophonist appeared regularly in newspapers from 1860 onwards. Leon Kinsbergen Mzn. came from Amsterdam, 22. The locations in Amsterdam where Leon Kinsbergen performed were mainly ‘Frascati’ and ‘Parklocaal’. He also gave successful concerts abroad, 23. Furthermore, he regularly participated in benefit concerts for, for instance, victims of the flood, 24 and the aforementioned 'diamond workers' orphans fund' 25. He also played the clarinet and the violin but profiled himself almost exclusively as a saxophonist, 26/27. Reviews about his ability as a saxophonist are exclusively positive in nature. Besides his activities as a soloist, Leon Kinsbergen also played in the park orchestra (parkorkest) founded in 1849 by Eduard Stumpff, 28


His repertoire consisted of transcriptions of operatic melodies and symphonic works such as the ‘Grande Fantaisie pour Saxophone Alto sur des motifs de l’Opéra Robert le Diable’, which he regularly performed, 29/ 30/ 31.


Furthermore, an announcement for a concert by the Stumpff orchestra in Frascati also mentions a ‘Fantaisie for saxophone’ by E. [Emile] Dunkler, with Kinsbergen as soloist. At the same concert, works by F. Dunkler (Sr. or Jr. is unknown) were performed, 32.



Jacques Salomon Kinsbergen (1839-1917)


A review in‘Nieuw Amsterdamsch Handels- en Effectenblad’ of Monday February 4th 1861, 33 provides important information about Kinsbergen and the status of the saxophone at that point in time:


Wij waren voor enigen tijd in de gelegenheid een nieuw muziekinstrument te leeren kennen, waarop wij des te gereeder de aandacht van het kunstminnend publiek vestigen, naardien een onzer stadgenoten en vaardige exécutanten, op het gebied der toonkunst, de heer L. Kingsbergen [sic] Mz. de eenige virtuoos op dit blaaswerktuig is. Wij bedoelen den saxophone Alto, waarop de heer Kingsbergen onlangs, bij gelegenheid eener in het Grand Théâtre des Variétés van den heer A. van Lier, ten voordeele der waternoodlijdenden gegeven voorstelling, op hoog verdienstelijke wijze eene fantaisie uit Robert le Diable heeft voorgedragen.

De bijzonderheden van dit instrument zijn de volle toonen en het bijzonder schoone, geheel eigenaardige geluid in zijn boven- en middenregister, een geluid, dat zich van de tot hier [t]oe bekende meer snijdende blaasinstrumenten door zijne zachte smeltende toonen gunstig onderscheidt. Van daar dat de saxophone in de handen van den bekwamen meester voor solo- of obligaatspel meer bijzonder geschikt is.


For some time we had the opportunity to get to know a new musical instrument, on which we draw the attention of the art-loving public, all the more so by one of our fellow townspeople and skilled exhibitors, in the field of music, Mr L. Kingsbergen [sic] Mz. is the only virtuoso on this blower. We mean the saxophone Alto, on which Mr. Kingsbergen recently, on occasion at the Grand Théâtre des Variétés by Mr. A. van Lier, presented in favor of the needy in a highly deserving way a fantasy from Robert le Diable.

The peculiarities of this instrument are the full tones and the particularly beautiful, completely peculiar sound in its upper and middle register, a sound that differs favorably from the more intuitive wind instruments known here, by its soft melting tones. From there that the saxophone in the hands of the skilled master is more particularly suitable for solo or band playing.

Algemeen Handelsblad, August 21st 1880,

In ‘Algemeen Handelsblad’ of March 9th 1865, 34 we find the following, very informative review:


Maandag 27 Febr. jl. had in het lokaal Frascati het vroeger geannonceerde concert plaats van de Heeren J. Jacobs en Jacq. Kinsbergen. Beide executanten handhaafden hun gevestigden goeden naam; de Heer Kinsbergen door de smaakvolle en zorgvuldige voordragt van het eerste concert voor viool van de Beriot en eene fantaisie van Pellegrin op il Trovatore […]

[…] terwijl de Heer Kinsbergen nog voordroeg eene romance voor saxophone-sopraan van W. Wijsman. Als violist toonde de Heer Kinsbergen groote vaardigheid en zekerheid en een vollen ronden toon te bezitten; zijne voordragt op de saxophone onderscheidde zich door zuiverheid en zangrijkheid, zoodat hij herhaalde malen onder luide toejuichingen werd teruggeroepen […]

Monday, Feb. 27 Lastly, in the Frascati room, the previously announced concert by Heeren J. Jacobs and Jacq took place. Kinsbergen. Both executors maintained their established good name; de Heer Kinsbergen through the tasteful and meticulous recital of the first Beriot violin concerto and a Pellegrin fantasy on il Trovatore […]


[...] while Mr. Kinsbergen recited a romance for saxophone soprano by W. Wijsman. As a violinist, Mr. Kinsbergen showed great skill and certainty and a full round tone; his reading on the saxophone was distinguished by purity and singing so that he was repeatedly recalled with loud acclaim [...]

The mentioned Romance for soprano saxophone by Wijsman was performed by Jacques Kinsbergen at several concerts. This article shows that he also played the violin. That instrument probably formed his musical background. As shown by many other articles, besides the soprano saxophone Kinsbergen also played the alto saxophone.

Apart from a single concert in Wijk aan Zee, 35, Kinsbergen performed mainly in Amsterdam. He played concerts in ‘Paleis voor Volksvlijt’, the Park, Natura Artis Magistra and the Arena at Ruysdaelkade. His repertoire included compositions such as the Fantaisie Pastorale by Jean Baptiste Singelée, Fant[aisie] Don Pasquale by Verroust; Fantasie for alto saxophone by J. Presburg; Solo for saxophone by Verweert; Le Tribut de Zamora by Gounod and La Somnambule by Bellini. Compared to his namesake Leon Kinsbergen, Jacques seemed to draw more and more from 'contemporary' composed repertoire as opposed to fragments from operas and well-known (folk) melodies (36/37/38/39/40/41)


An article from February 8th, 1892 in ‘Het Nieuws van den Dag’, 42, reports on a performance of navy officers at their annual gala, in which Kinsbergen participated. This review shows that the saxophone was still not fully accepted:


Dit alles werd afgewisseld, behalve door het Orkest, door voordrachten voor zang […] en eene solo voor saxophone, een voor soli weinig gebruikt en eigenlijk weinig bruikbaar instrument, dat intusschen door den Heer Kinsbergen niet onverdienstelijk bespeeld werd.

All of this was varied, except by the Orchestra, by recitals for vocals [...] and a solo for saxophone, a little used and actually useless instrument, which in the meantime was not played without merit by Mr. Kinsbergen.

He performed as a soloist with various orchestras, such as the music choir of the civic guard, 43 and a string orchestra conducted by Joh. Coenen, 44. However, by far he gave the most concerts as a soloist with the Amsterdam Orchestra Association (Amsterdamse Orkest Vereniging), under the direction of various conductors. The last time Jacques Kinsbergen appeared in a daily newspaper was on July 25th1900 in an announcement of a concert by the aforementioned Amsterdam Orchestra Association, 45.

Amsterdam music life


The newspaper articles I studied not only give a good impression of the use of the saxophone in its early days, but is also a very clear reflection of Amsterdam's musical life at that time.


In 1810 opende het Italiaanse koffiehuis Frascati haar deuren. Veertien jaar later werd dit café uitgebreid met een voor die tijd indrukwekkende en chique feestzaal met een capaciteit van 1500 mensen waar regelmatig zang- en dansuitvoeringen gegeven werden, 46.

In 1810 the Italian coffee house Frascati opened its doors. Fourteen years later, this café was expanded with an impressive and chic banquet hall with a capacity of 1,500 people where singing and dancing performances were regularly given, 46.


The thesis of Jurjen Vis, Gaudeamus. The life of Julius Röntgen (1855-1932). Composer and musician (2007), Chapter 4 provides an excellent analysis of this musical life.


Omstreeks het midden van de 19 deeeuw kwamen er meer orkesten in Amsterdam; in de hoofdstad groeide gaandeweg de ambitie om op orkestgebied beter te presteren en niet langer achter te blijven bij buitenlandse orkesten. In 1849 richtte Eduard Stumpff het Parkorkest op, evenals het orkest van Felix Meritis een gezelschap van professionals en amateurs, maar het was wel Nederlands eerste betaalde orkest. Het parkorkest bespeelde de Parkzaal, gelegen in Amsterdams oudste wandelpark […], 47 (204-205).


Vanaf mei 1865 ondervond het Parkorkest concurrentie van het Paleisorkest, een professioneel ensemble van geschoolde musici die ook werden betaald. Het Paleisorkest was het vaste orkest van het in 1864 gebouwde Paleis voor Volksvlijt, 48

Around the middle of the 19th century, more orchestras came to Amsterdam; in the capital gradually the ambition grew to perform better in the field of the orchestra and to no longer lag behind foreign orchestras. In 1849 Eduard Stumpff founded the Park Orchestra, just like the Felix Meritis orchestra, a company of professionals and amateurs, but it was the first paid orchestra in the Netherlands. The park orchestra played the Parkzaal, located in Amsterdam's oldest walking park […], 47 (204-205).


From May 1865 the Park Orchestra faced competition from the Palace Orchestra, a professional ensemble of trained musicians who were also paid. The Palace Orchestra was the permanent orchestra of the Palace for Volksvlijt, built in 1864, 48.

On October 11th1881, the demolition of the Park Hall began, as it, like the Paleis voor Volksvlijt, was, in fact, unsuitable for concerts where the acoustics were concerned. The Parkschouwburg (Park Theatre) was built in 1882 and opened in May 1883. The ‘Amsterdamse Orkest Vereniging’ (the AOV) performed in this Parkschouwburg, 49 as well as in the Paleis voor Volksvlijt. The AOV was, in fact, a fusion orchestra and consisted of musicians from the Park Orchestra, which was dissolved at the same time as the demolition of the Park Hall, and the Palace Orchestra took place. The AOV consisted of over 115 musicians, 50. The first conductor of the AOV was Willem Kes. He was succeeded by Godfried Mann, 51.          


Van oktober 1884 tot in 1888 bestond er een tweede AOV, onder leiding van Frans Wedemeijer. Vanaf 1885 trad ook het Paleisorkest weer zelfstandig op, onder leiding van Coenen, 52/53


Na augustus 1888 heeft het pas opgerichte Concertgebouworkest zijn musici mede gerecruteerd uit Wedemeijers AOV en Coenens Paleisorkest. De AOV ging zelfs geheel op in het nieuwe orkest […]. Het Paleisorkest bleef bestaan tot 1895. […] De Amsterdamse stadshistoricus Hajo Brugmans heeft de Amsterdamse orkestgeschiedenis in 1927 kort maar krachtig geschetst: ‘De muzikale ontwikkeling van Amsterdam loopt van het Park over het Paleis naar het Concertgebouw’ 52/54.


From October 1884 to 1888 a second AOV existed, under the direction of Frans Wedemeijer. From 1885 the Palace Orchestra also performed independently again, led by Coenen, 52/53


After August 1888 the newly founded Concertgebouw Orchestra co-recruited its musicians from Wedemeijers AOV and Coenens Palace Orchestra. The AOV even became completely absorbed in the new orchestra [...]. The Palace Orchestra continued to exist until 1895. [...] The Amsterdam city historian Hajo Brugmans briefly but vigorously outlined the history of Amsterdam's orchestra in 1927: "The musical development of Amsterdam runs from the Park across the Palace to the Concertgebouw" 52/54.


The fact that the saxophone in these circles was presented as a solo instrument indicates an ever-growing acceptance as a fully-fledged instrument. It is interesting to see how this perception changes again in the newspapers after the beginning of the 20th century, under the influence of the increasing use of the saxophone in popular (jazz) music. The attitude of the Nazi regime later in the 20th century also contributes to a stagnation in development, and even damage to the image of the saxophone.



Grenadiers and Hunters saxophonists


Since the 1860’s saxophonists of the Grenadiers and Hunters have been the main characters in the daily papers, such as Becht, W. van der Linden, and A. Luyben / Luijben.


Besides an announcement for a concert in 1860 where Becht performed, the only thing known about him is that he suddenly dies in September 1860. He is buried with military honors. The conductor of the orchestra, Dunkler Jr., even writes a chorale for brass players for this occasion, 55


The first article about van der Linden appears in 1866 in ‘Dagblad van Zuidholland en 's Gravenhage’, 56. This is an announcement of a concert in Diligentia, The Hague. In the review of that concert from the same newspaper of August 14th1866, 57, it is written that ‘[...] also Mr. van der Linden, who presented a solo on his heavy instrument - the Saxophone -, we should not withhold well-earned praise’.Het Nieuws van den Dag of March 21st, 1879, 58 mentions: ‘the solo saxophonist of the music of the grenadiers and hunters W. van der Linden has been appointed as the second conductor of that band.’ Printed private correspondence in Het Nieuws van den Dag of May 14th, 1883, 59 shows that a saxophonist by the name of Ter Linden performed on a Dutch music evening in New York, USA. It is as yet unclear whether it is the same musician.

In 1868, the first announcement can be found for a concert in which saxophonist of the Grenadiers and Hunters A. Luyben participates (see plate 6) 60/61. This is a concert in which the famous trumpet player Arban, among others, participates. The 'Noordbrabanter' of August 13th1868, 62 gives an informative report about this concert:

De heer Luijben, saxophonist bij het muziekkorps der Grenadiers, verleende jl. Zaterdag zijne medewerking aan een koncert door de heeren Arban, solo kornet à piston aan het keizerlijk konservatoire te Parijs en Schneider, eerste tenor aan de Hoogduitsche Opera te Rotterdam, in de kursaal van het Badhuis te Scheveningen gegeven.

Was ik onwillekeurig verbaasd, dat zulk een jeugdig kunstenaar als Luijben (die voor weinige jaren nog te Herpt, een klein dorpeke in Noordbrabant, de ploeg op den akker zijns vader stuurde) zich als solist durfde plaatsen naast twee zoo vermaarde en teregt gevierde kunstenaars als de heeren ARBAN en SCHNEIDER, die verbazing ging weldra over in verrassing en bewondering, toen de toonen van zijn fraai instrument door de koncertzaal ruischten. De afwisselende zachtheid en kracht van toon, de gevoelvolle en wegslepende voordragt en de bijna ongeloovelijke vlugheid deden Luijben een succes behalen, zoals welligt nimmer een kunstenaar te beurt viel, die, zoo als hij, onbekend en voor het eerst als solist optrad en dat naast talenten van zoo zeldzame gehalte als Arban en Schneider.


ARBAN en SCHNEIDER (het doet hun kunstenaarshart eere) waren zoo getroffen door het geniaal talent van hun jeugdigen kunstbroeder, dat zij hem omarmeden, toen hij onder daverend applaus het orchest verliet.

Ik vlei mij, dat Noordbrabant prijs zal stellen op dezen veel belovenden zoon en dat kunstminnaars zich zullen vereenigen, om, hetzij nu, hetzij later, hunne gewestgenooten in de gelegenheid te stellen, dezen waren kunstenaar ook in Noordbrabant te hooren.


Een bestendig lezer.

's Hage 7 aug. 1868


Dagblad van Zuidholland en 's Gravenhage, August 1st 1868, 4

Mr. Luijben, the saxophonist with the Grenadiers' band, provided his co-operation last Saturday in a concert by Mr. Arban, solo cornet player at the imperial conservatory in Paris and Mr. Schneider, first tenor at the High German Opera in Rotterdam, in the ‘kursaal’ of the ‘Badhuis’ in Scheveningen.


I was involuntarily surprised that such a young artist as Luijben (who a few years ago was still manning the plough in his father’s field in Herpt, a small village in North Brabant [province in the south of the Netherlands]) dared to place himself, as a soloist, next to two artists as famous and celebrated as the gentlemen ARBAN and SCHNEIDER. Amazement soon turned into surprise and admiration, when the tones of his beautiful instrument were resonating through the concert hall. The alternating softness and power of tone, the sensitive and lively recitation and the almost unbelievable speed made Luijben achieve success, as never was the case with an artist who, like him, performed as a soloist for the first time and who, besides talents of such rare quality as Arban and Schneider, was unknown.


 ARBAN and SCHNEIDER (it does their artist's heart credit) were so struck by the genius talent of their young brother in art that they embraced him when he left the orchestra with resounding applause.


I hope that North Brabant will appreciate this promising son and that art lovers will join forces, whether now or later, to give their fellow countrymen the opportunity to hear this artist in North Brabant as well.


 An enthousiastic reader.


‘ s Hage Aug. 7th 1868

The last article in which Luyben is mentioned is an announcement for a concert in the ‘Odeon’ in Zwolle on December 13th 1869, 63.


However, the best-known saxophonist who has worked with the Grenadiers and Jagers, is Eduard Lefèbre.


1. Haine, M. (1980), 46

Adolphe Sax: 1814-1894: sa vie, son oeuvre et ses instrument de musique: Editions de l’Université de Bruxelles


2. Haine, M. (1980), 54

Adolphe Sax: 1814-1894: sa vie, son oeuvre et ses instrument de musique: Editions de l’Université de Bruxelles


3. Algemeen Handelsblad (6.9.1842)

                  ‘Binnenland’. In: Algemeen Handelsblad: 1 (auteur onbekend)


4. Haine, M. (1980), 54

Adolphe Sax: 1814-1894: sa vie, son oeuvre et ses instrument de musique: Editions de l’Université de Bruxelles


5. Encyclo

Opzoeken: François Dunkler sr[10-10-13,çois Dunkler sr.]


6. Encyclo

Opzoeken: François Dunkler sr[10-10-13,çois Dunkler sr.]


7. Yperen, R. van (1966), 41

                  De Nederlandse Militaire Muziek: Van Dishoeck, Bussum


8. Yperen, R. van (1966), 45

                  De Nederlandse Militaire Muziek: Van Dishoeck, Bussum


9. Yperen, R. van (1966), 119

                  De Nederlandse Militaire Muziek: Van Dishoeck, Bussum


10. Elsenaar, E. (1947), 21

                  De Saxophone: Lispet, Hilversum


11. Elsenaar, E. (1947), 25

                  De Saxophone: Lispet, Hilversum


12. Elsenaar, E. (1947), 25-26

                  De Saxophone: Lispet, Hilversum


13. Dagblad voor Zuidholland en ’s Gravenhage (4.5.1864)

                  ‘Binnenland’. In: Dagblad van Zuidholland en ’s Gravenhage: 3 (auteur onbekend)


14. Dagblad van Zuidholland en ’s Gravenhage (10.6.1857)

‘Binnenland’. In: Dagblad van Zuidholland en ’s Gravenhage: 2 (auteur onbekend)


15. Algemeen Handelsblad (3.9.1861)

‘Frascati, Groot Vocaal en Instrumentaal Concert’. In: Algemeen Handelsblad: 6 (auteur onbekend)


16. Nieuw Amsterdamsch Handels- en Effectenblad (23.9.1861)

‘Kunstnieuws’. In: Nieuw Amsterdamsch Handels- en Effectenblad: 2 (auteur onbekend)


17. De Locomotief, (26.3.1879)

                  ‘Kunst- en Letternieuws’. In: De Locomotief:  2 (auteur onbekend)


18. Ivonne Lucker, personal communication (email), 26.9.13


19. Algemeen Handelsblad (7.3.1861)

                  ‘Amsterdam’. In: Algemeen Handelsblad, 5 (auteur onbekend)


20. Wie Was Wie

Opzoeken: Manus Kinsbergen, [7-10-13,]

21. Wie Was Wie

Opzoeken: Jacques Kinsbergen, [7-10-13,]


22. Nieuw Amsterdamsch Handels-en Effectenblad (4.2.1861)

‘Kunstnieuws’, In: Nieuw Amsterdamsch Handels-en Effectenblad: 3 (auteur onbekend)


23. Algemeen Handelsblad (1.9.1862)

                  ‘Binnenland’. In: Algemeen Handelsblad, 2 (auteur onbekend)


24. Amsterdamsch Handels-en Effectenblad (14.1.1861)

‘Publieke Vermakelijkheden’. In: Amsterdamsch Handels-en Effectenblad, 4 (auteur onbekend)


25. Algemeen Handelsblad (7.3.1861)

                  ‘Amsterdam’. In: Algemeen Handelsblad, 5 (auteur onbekend)


26. Algemeen Handelsblad (1.9.1862)

                  ‘Binnenland’. In: Algemeen Handelsblad, 2 (auteur onbekend)


27. Algemeen Handelsblad (30.6.1862)

                  ‘Binnenland’. In: Algemeen Handelsblad, 1 (auteur onbekend)


28. Nieuw Amsterdamsch Handels-en Effectenblad (29.7.1861)

‘Park. Groot Harmonie-Concert’. In: Nieuw Amsterdamsch Handels-en Effectenblad, 2 (auteur onbekend)


29. Algemeen Handelsblad (9.3.1861)

‘Frascati. Groot Instrumentaal Concert’. In: Algemeen Handelsblad, 6 (auteur onbekend)


30. Algemeen Handelsblad (17.11.1860)

‘Frascati. Groot Instrumentaal Concert’. In: Algemeen Handelsblad, 6 (auteur onbekend)


31. Algemeen Handelsblad (10.12.1860)

‘Frascati. Groot Instrumentaal Concert’. In: Algemeen Handelsblad, 4 (auteur onbekend)


32. Algemeen Handelsblad (25.11.1861)

‘Frascati. Groot Instrumentaal Concert’. In: Algemeen Handelsblad, 6 (auteur onbekend)


33. Nieuw Amsterdamsch Handels-en Effectenblad (4.2.1861)

‘Kunstnieuws’. In: Nieuw Amsterdamsch Handels-en Effectenblad, 3, (auteur onbekend)


34. Algemeen Handelsblad (9.3.1865)

                  ‘Binnenland’. In: Algemeen Handelsblad, 2 (auteur onbekend)


35. Het Nieuws van den Dag (27.8.1886)

‘Vervolg Nieuwstijdingen’. In: Het Nieuws van den Dag, 7 (auteur onbekend)


36. Het Nieuws van den Dag (24.2.1896)

                  ‘Stadsnieuws’. In: Het Nieuws van den Dag, 21 (auteur onbekend)


37. Het Nieuws van den Dag (19.5.1897)

                  ‘Stadsnieuws’. In: Het Nieuws van den Dag, 13 (auteur onbekend)     


38. Het Nieuws van den Dag (26.12.1898)

‘Toneelvoorstellingen, Concerten enz.’. In: Het Nieuws van den Dag, 25 (auteur onbekend)


39. Het Nieuws van den Dag (4.9.1886)

                  ‘Stadsnieuws’. In: Het Nieuws van den Dag, 2 (auteur onbekend)


40. Het Nieuws van den Dag (22.6.1896)

                  ‘Stadsnieuws’. In: Het Nieuws van den Dag, 19 (auteur onbekend)


41. Het Nieuws van den Dag (19.4.1897)

                  ‘Volksconcert’. In: Het Nieuws van den Dag, 17 (auteur onbekend)


42. Het Nieuws van den Dag (8.2.1892)

                  ‘Stadsnieuws’. In: Het Nieuws van den Dag, 13 (auteur onbekend)


43. Het Nieuws van den Dag (18.5.1899)

                  Stadsnieuws’. In: Het Nieuws van den Dag, 13 (auteur onbekend)


44. Het Nieuws van den Dag (23.7.1891)

                  Stadsnieuws’. In: Het Nieuws van den Dag, 10 (auteur onbekend)


45. Het Nieuws van den Dag (25.7.1900)

                  Stadsnieuws’. In: Het Nieuws van den Dag, 11 (auteur onbekend)


46. Frascati Theater

Wat is Frascati? [2-10-13,] Bas van Peijpe


47. Vis, G. (2007)

Gaudeamus. Het leven van Julius Röntgen (1855-1932). Componist en musicus. [thesis] Utrecht: Universiteit Utrecht, 204-205


48. Vis, G. (2007)

Gaudeamus. Het leven van Julius Röntgen (1855-1932). Componist en musicus. [thesis] Utrecht: Universiteit Utrecht, 205


49. Vis, G. (2007)

Gaudeamus. Het leven van Julius Röntgen (1855-1932). Componist en musicus. [thesis] Utrecht: Universiteit Utrecht, 204-205


50. Wennekes, E. (1999)

Het Paleis voor Volksvlijt (1864-1929). ‘Edele uiting eener stoute gedachte’ [thesis] Utrecht: Den Haag, SDU, 174


51. Vis, G. (2007)

Gaudeamus. Het leven van Julius Röntgen (1855-1932). Componist en musicus. [thesis] Utrecht: Universiteit Utrecht, 204


52. Vis, G. (2007)

Gaudeamus. Het leven van Julius Röntgen (1855-1932). Componist en musicus. [thesis] Utrecht: Universiteit Utrecht, 206


53. Wennekes, E. (1999)

Het Paleis voor Volksvlijt (1864-1929). ‘Edele uiting eener stoute gedachte’ [thesis] Utrecht: Den Haag, SDU, 174


54 H. Brugmans 

Het Paleis voor Volksvlijt’, in: De Groene Amsterdammer, 27 april 1927


55. Dagblad van Zuidholland en ’s Gravenhage (13.9.1860)

‘Binnenland’. In: Dagblad van Zuidholland en ’s Gravenhage, 2 (auteur onbekend)


56. Dagblad van Zuidholland en ’s Gravenhage (10.8.1866)

‘Zaal Diligentia’. In: Dagblad van Zuidholland en ’s Gravenhage, 4 (auteur onbekend)


57. Dagblad van Zuidholland en ’s Gravenhage (14.8.1866)

‘Binnenland’. In: Dagblad van Zuidholland en ’s Gravenhage, 3 (auteur onbekend)


58. Het Nieuws van den Dag (21.3.1879)

‘Gemengd Nieuws’. In: Het Nieuws van den Dag, 2 (auteur onbekend)


59. Het Nieuws van den Dag (14.5.1883)

‘Brieven uit New York’. In: Het Nieuws van den Dag, 9 (auteur onbekend)


60. Dagblad van Zuidholland en ’s Gravenhage (4.8.1868)

‘Binnenland’. In: Dagblad van Zuidholland en ’s Gravenhage, 2 (auteur onbekend)


61. Dagblad van Zuidholland en ’s Gravenhage (5.8.1868)

‘Binnenland’. In: Dagblad van Zuidholland en ’s Gravenhage, 2 (auteur onbekend)


62. De Noordbrabanter (13.8.1868)

‘Ingezonden stukken’. In: De Noordbrabanter, 3 (auteur onbekend)


63. Provinciale Overijsselsche en Zwolsche Courant (7.12.1869)

‘Binnenlandsche Nieuwstijdingen’. In: Provinciale Overijsselsche en Zwolsche Courant, 3 (auteur onbekend)