The Boismortier family moved from the composer’s birthplace in Thionville (in Lorraine) to the town of Metz where he received his musical education from Joseph Valette de Montigny, a well-known composer of motets. The Boismortier family then followed Montigny and moved to Perpignan in 1713 where Boismortier found employment in the Royal Tobacco Control. Boismortier married Marie Valette, the daughter of a rich goldsmith and a relative of his teacher Montigny.
In 1724 Boismortier and his wife moved to Paris where he began a prodigious composition career, writing for many instruments and voices. He was prolific: his first works appeared in Paris in 1724, and by 1747 he had published more than 100 works in various vocal and instrumental combinations. His music, particularly for the voice, was extremely popular and made him wealthy without the aid of patrons. He died in Roissy-en-Brie.
Boismortier was the first French composer to use the Italian concerto form, in his six concertos for five flutes op. 15. (1727). He also wrote the first French solo concerto for any instrument, a concerto for cello, viol, or bassoon (1729). Much of his music is for the flute, for which he also wrote an instruction method (now lost). His six sonatas for flute and harpsichord op. 91, first published in Paris in 1742, were printed with an homage to the celebrated French flutist and composer, Michel Blavet (1700–1768). Today, they are probably his most popular pieces, for they indeed show Boismortier at his most creative and graceful. A notable piece of Boismortier’s that is still often performed is the Deuxieme serenade ou simphonie. The violinist Jean-Marie Leclair the elder (1697–1764) cultivated both solo and trio genres with charm although with less profundity. Boismortier and Rameau both lived during the Rococo era of Louis XV and upheld the French tradition, composing music of beauty and sophistication that was widely appreciated by the French musical public.
(Contribution by Wes <balkantalagmail.com>.)