Jean Becker, violinist, was born in Mannheim, a town in southwest Germany in May of 1833 (1836 according to The Illustrated London News, 1860). His first teacher was Aloys Kettenus of Liege conservatory. And later, composer/conductor Vincenz Lachner, who Franz Schubert was a friend of. Afterward, he became a pupil of Jean-Delphin Alard in Paris. Mr. Alard is famously one of Pablo Sarasate’s teachers. In 1864, Jean fathered a son in Strasburg, whom he named Hugo Becker. Hugo studied at first with his own father and soon moved on to receive instruction from such teachers as Friedrich Wilhelm Grützmacher and Carlo Alfredo Piatti. At the height of his career he joined the opera orchestra, conservatory of Frankfort, and Frankfort Quartet. When Becker settled in Florence in 1866, he had formed a string quartet with violinist and later, politician, Enrico Masi, whom Becker dedicated his D major Polonaise for violin and piano (an excellent showpiece), violinist/violist Luigi Chiostri, to whom Jean b. dedicated his Bolero (a technically onerous piece in G minor for violin and piano accomp.), and Friedrich Hilpert, cellist, whos seat was later inherited by the Hungarian cello player Spitzer-Hegyesi (Louis).
Mr. Becker was admired by multiple famed and prominent composers who wrote chamber-music masterpieces dedicated to him:
Antonio Bazzini – String Quartet no.2 in D minor, op.75 (for Becker’s Florentiner Quartett)
Dvořák, Antonín – String Quartet no.10 in Eb, op.51
Anton Rubinstein – String Quartets no.9 (in Ab) and 10 (in F minor), op.106
Hans Huber – Piano Trio no.2 in E, op.65 (for Mr. Becker and his son, Eric Hugo Becker)