French-born conductor Pierre Monteux (1875-1964) premiered many masterworks of the last century, including Maurice Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé, Claude Debussy’s Jeux, and Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Petrushka. Monteux enjoyed a long life, spanning a remarkable period in history. Originally trained as a violist, he performed for both Edvard Grieg and Johannes Brahms as a member of the Quatuor Geloso. Over the course of his conducting career, he held directorships of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, the Metropolitan Opera, the Boston Symphony, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Orchestre Symphonique de Paris (which he formed), the London Symphony, and the San Francisco Symphony, among others.
Monteux became an American citizen in 1942 and made his permanent residence in Hancock, Maine, the childhood home of his wife Doris Hodgkins Monteux (1894-1984). In 1943, Pierre and Doris Monteux founded a summer school for conductors and orchestra musicians in Hancock, inspired in part by Monteux’s earlier conducting classes in France. Musicians came from all over the world to Hancock to study with their beloved “Maitre.” Monteux once said: Conducting is not enough. I must create something. I am not a composer, so I will create fine young musicians.
A few years after Pierre Monteux’s death, Doris Monteux named Charles Bruck (1911-1995) the second music director of the school. Monteux’s pupil in Paris, Bruck had enjoyed a close friendship with Monteux through the years and was uniquely qualified to carry on the traditions of the school. He served as the school’s music director and master teacher for over a quarter century, becoming one of the great conducting teachers of his generation.
In 1995, Charles Bruck’s long-time student and associate Michael Jinbo was named the school’s third music director. Jinbo’s teaching, consistently praised by colleagues and students, continues the tradition established by Monteux and Bruck, and exemplifies the musical integrity and high standards of excellence of his distinguished predecessors.
Nancie Monteux-Barendse served as Administrator for The Pierre Monteux School and as President of the Board of Trustees of the Pierre Monteux Memorial Foundation. Born in Boston, Nancie Monteux received her early education in boarding schools and under private tutors in Belgium and France, where she lived and traveled with her parents Pierre and Doris Monteux. She began studying dance at the age of eight, concentrating on the Dalcroze method, and later worked with pupils of Isadora Duncan, Mary Wigman, and Ballet Classique. In 1934, she made her recital debut with the Orchestre Symphonique de Paris, conducted by her father. Recitals followed in Paris and in California, where she was a member of the Théâtre Français de San Francisco. Nancie Monteux married in 1941 and spent the war years in Hancock, Maine, where she returned most summers with her four sons. In the 1960s, with her French-American husband, she owned and operated an inn in southern Vermont, which received significant and extended praise from Craig Claiborne in The New York Times. In the 1970s, she returned to Hancock to assist her mother, Doris, with the running of The Monteux School, and took over as it’s Administrator upon her mother’s death in 1984.
Musical Advisor (1996–2005)
Claude Monteux served as Musical Advisor for The Pierre Monteux School, where he coached chamber ensembles and works privately with conductors in their score study. Monteux established successful dual international careers as both concert flutist and conductor. As a flutist, he played under the batons of Toscanini, Walter, Beecham, Stokowski, Casals, Stravinsky, and his father Pierre Monteux. On the podium, he served as Mu sic Director of the Columbus Symphony (1953–56) and the Hudson Valley Philharmonic (1959–75). Claude Monteux studied conducting with h is father, both privately and at The Monteux School. He has appeared in concert and in recordings with orchestras throughout the world, including the London Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the NBC Symphony, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Ballet, and orchestras in Berlin, Paris, Brussels, Norway and Holland. He has recorded extensively on London, Philips and other labels, including concerti by Mozart and Bach with the Academy of St. Martin in the-Fields. Claude Monteux has served on the faculties of the New Eng land Conservatory of Music, the Peabody Conservatory, Vassar College, and Ohio State University.