Newspaper double-page spread "The Violin and its Master"
On 12. May 1934, the "Fränkischer Kurier" paid tribute to Marteau's artistic work, illustrated with photographs on correct posture. (Photo: Fränkischer Kurier Nuremberg)

Early on, Henri Marteau also had his first success as a teacher. Until his death in 1934, he taught students from all over the world in Lichtenberg.

Professor in Geneva

In 1900, Henri Marteau accepted a professorship at the Geneva Conservatory at the age of only 26. Marteau invested a predominant part of his teaching hours in the newly established master class for violin. The teaching works of his models Joseph Joachim (1831-1907), whose violin school he translated into French, and Hubert Léonard (1819-1890) played a special role.

Probably one of his most prominent Geneva students was Florizel von Reuter (1890-1985), to whom Henri Marteau offered a scholarship at the conservatory in 1900. Von Reuter was successful as a violin virtuoso and pedagogue both in Europe and America.

Henri Marteau as Professor in Geneva
A postcard from the beginning of the 20th century shows Henri Marteau in his capacity as professor at the Geneva Conservatoire. (Photo: Leyvraz et Junger, Montreux)
Professor in Berlin
Henri Marteau in Berlin
Henri Marteau's appointment as Joseph Joachim's successor was not only met with enthusiasm. (Photo: Zander & Labisch)

Joseph Joachim, founder of the Berlin Musikhochschule and also professor of violin there, died on August 15, 1907. His desired successor was Henri Marteau, whom he had known since the 1880s. Henri Marteau was not impressed by the negative sentiment due to his French origin. He took up the Berlin professorship in the winter semester of 1908/09. His Berlin students included Licco Amar (1891-1959), Carl von Garaguly (1900-1984) and Rolph Schroeder (1900-1980).

With the beginning of the First World War, Henri Marteau was arrested. After being interned twice, he signed an agreement in March 1915 to leave the Berlin Hochschule in order to ease his personal situation. However, at that time he still believed that he would be able to resume the post after the war.

Professorships after the First World War
Henri Marteau in Prague
Henri Marteau's appointment as professor in Prague lasted only two years. (Photo: unknown)

All efforts to return to Berlin as a professor after the war were ultimately unsuccessful. Only shorter appointments at various institutes followed – from 1922 to 1924 at the German Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Prague and 1926/27 at the Academy of Music in Leipzig. His last teaching position was at the Dresden Conservatory in 1928. Despite his reputation as a teacher and artist, only a few students were interested in his classes. This activity ended in May 1934, as no more students had registered for his class.

Henri Marteau as a Private Teacher

Henri Marteau gave violin lessons not only at universities, but also in private. Shortly after the completion of the house in Lichtenberg in 1913, he began to give his most talented students from all over the world private lessons there in so-called “summer academies”. Even beyond that, there were always students staying at the Lichtenberg estate with whom he worked intensively.

Willy Freund, a student of Marteau’s, wrote in a letter after his death in 1934 about his teacher and the time in Lichtenberg:

“What he gave me on my professional life path is just something special, because in a way it left a much deeper impression than what most of my former teachers gave me. I must say that the hours of 1920 in Lichtenberg are one of my most beautiful memories and have now naturally come back to life in my mind. How sad for me that this will now finally be a thing of the past…”.

Henri Marteau in the Company of some Students
Henri Marteau invited many talented young musicians to Lichtenberg and gave them lessons there. (Photo: Wilhelm Müller)