Jacques Pierre Joseph Rode on February 16, 1774 ? died November 25, 1830, was a French violinist and composer. Born in Bordeaux, Aquitaine, France, Pierre Rode traveled to Paris at the age of 13 and soon became a favourite pupil of the great Giovanni Battista Viotti who found the boy so talented that he charged him no fee for the lessons. Rode inherited his teacher's style to which he added more mildness and a more refined tone. It is also recorded that he made extensive use of portamento. He collaborated with Baillot and Kreutzer on the official Violin Method of the Conservatoire of Paris, published in 1802.
Rode served as violin soloist to Napoleon I of France and toured extensively in the Netherlands, Germany, England and Spain, staying with François-Adrien Boïeldieu in St. Petersburg for 1804-1809, and later spending much time in Moscow. Ludwig van Beethoven wrote his last violin sonata (opus 96) for Rode when the violinist was visiting Vienna. He also performed chamber music, but the backbone of his repertoire was formed by Viotti's concertos which served as models for his own concertos, 13 in number. These, as well as the 24 Caprices, were written during 1814-1819 when he lived in Berlin.
In all, Pierre Rode composed 13 violin concertos and many other works for violin. Although Rode's violin concertos have some significance in the development of the Romantic concerto, they are nowadays rarely performed, and his major contribution to music must be seen in his influence to younger violinists, such as Louis Spohr, who adopted his style and developed it further. He turned out to be unsuccessful for some time and Spohr found that his skill had deterioated. He refused to touch the violin for quite a while.
Pierre Rode died at Château de Bourbon near Damazan, Lot-et-Garonne, in his native Aquitaine.
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