Robert Nicolas-Charles Bochsa (9 August 1789 in Montmédy, Meuse, France ? 6 January 1856 in Sydney, Australia) was a musician and composer.
The son of a Bohemia-born musician Karl Bochsa (de), he was able to play the flute and piano by the age of 7. In 1807 he went to study at the Paris Conservatoire. He was appointed harpist to the Imperial Orchestra in 1813, and began writing operas for the Opéra-Comique. However, in 1817 he became entangled in counterfeiting, fraud, and forgery, and fled to London to avoid prosecution. He was convicted in absentia, and sentenced to branding and hard labour.
Safe from French law in London, he helped found the Royal Academy of Music in 1821, and became its secretary. He taught there, amongst others, the British harp virtuoso Elias Parish Alvars. However, he was forced to resign in 1826 when his criminal conviction was revealed. He then became Musical Director of the Kings Theatre in London. In 1839 he became involved in another scandal when he ran off with the opera singer Anna Rivière-Bishop, who was wife of the composer Henry Rowley Bishop. They performed together in America, Australia, and throughout Europe (except France). In Naples Bochsa was appointed Director of Regio Teatro San Carlo, (the Royal Opera House) and stayed there for two years. Bochsa arrived with Anna in Sydney at the time of the gold rush in December, 1855 and gave only one concert before Bochsa died. Bishop was heartbroken and commissioned an elaborate tomb for him consisting of a figure (symbolising Anna) lying at the base of a tree with a harp lying against it in Camperdown cemetery, Sydney.
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