Alexandre Duvoir Bio

Alexandre Duvoir, with wife Germaine
and daughter Solange, 1922 passport photo

 
(Coming soon. For the time being, this section will be a list of thoughts and rough framework for a completed piece.)
 
For now, see the Timeline
 
Born August 4, 1889 to Felicien C.L. Duvoir and Madeline Lasnier in Paris. (We have baptism records that need to be translated for details).
 
Came to the Conservatoire at age 11 as a listener (what does that mean?), ~ 1900
Won Premier Accessit at the Concours in 1908.
Won Second Prix at the Concours in 1910.
Drafted into the French army 1909 and started active duty in 1910. Family lore has him in the army band, not as a soldier. (Military papers exist- need to examine to clarify facts)
Military could have began 1912. In need of French translation to clarify.
Married to first wife, Germain Louise Charret (born Jan 5, 1896, died Nov 17, 1958)
Released from military 1917 (need to verify dates)
While in France: residence in Montmorency, Paris and Versailles.
Daughter: (Mother of Gerald Dahl) Solange Louise Duvoir born Oct 10, 1917, She would be his only child.
Georges Gillet dies Feb 8, 1920. It is conceivable Duvoir attended the funeral.
Sept 5, 1920. Alexandre arrives at Ellis Island from France. Family lore has it that the US Governement paid for his relocation in some type of "grant" inteneded to bring talented artists into the US. Alexandre bound for the Minneapolis Symphony.
1922 - Alexandre returns to France to retreive his family. There are photos with Solange on the ship. I beleive he carried his new oboe, ser# LL4 with him.
1925 - First mention of Alexandre as a Professor of Oboe at the University of Minnesota. The record show "Professor of Oboe", but UMN correspondence suggests he was an associate professor. It is unclear why there is a distinction.
Somewhere around here Duvoir's music store opend at 920 Nicolette Av, Minneapolis.
Alexandre must have kept up with Albert Andraud because there are several editions of Andraud's music books inscribed to Alexandre.
1929- Alexandre toured to Cuba with the symphony. Passport records as well as a large box of 3d slides exist from this trip. Need to go through this to have a look. 
For a span of time Alexandre played with the symphony. Need to check archives of the local paper to get more details for this period. Also during this time he would have been an instructor to Bob Marsh, perhaps the most famous of his students.
1937 - Dimitri Mitropoulos come tho the symphony. Mitropoulos was known for his own style and there was even a word coined after him- He "Mitropoulized" the music. Mitropoulos thought he was improvong the music, but I suspect Alexandre was extremely opposed to the approach. It would be really good to research newpaper articles to try to discover a feud or record of dissatisfaction. Alexandre was musically pure and would not want anything to do with the new conductor.
Solange would be married to Allen Dahl, and had a son, Gerald Dahl in 1938.
Photo with the symphony signed by Mitropoulos 1938.
Sometime in 1939 Alexandre resigned from the symphony and came to Hollywood. Need to find specific information.
Alexandre had a job at RKO studios. There is mention of him playing in 1943 with the Frank Sinatra orchestra. We have copies of contracts with RKO for the next 10 years until 1954. In 1954 he built a home in Pinion Hills, CA. Pinion hills would have been around a one hour drive to Hollywood, and was really in the middle of nowhere at that time. Pinion hills is in the high desert in San Bernardino County. During that time he would have played in many recordings, but received very few personal credits. It appears that sometime in 1953 he joined "The Fine Arts Wind Players", a quintet with Mitchell Lurie. There are records of several performances as well as a Capital record in 1956. During this time he had a residence I believe in Eagle Rock. Also somewhere around 1957 his daughter Solange had died.  Sometime after he married second wife, Jesse.
 
Some stories:
Alexandre would never play the radio in his car because he would become totally involved in the music and could not drive.
 
Jerry tells me that a neighbor once learned who he was and just HAD to meet him like he was some type of celebrity. He never sonsidered himself special and was so humble that he realy did not like to talk about himself at all. That is part of the difficulty piecing all of this together is that the verbal record is very thin.
 
 
 
Subpages (1): Duvoir Timeline
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