Friedrich Ludwig Dülon

On this day August 14th, 1768 Friedrich Ludwig Dülon who became the most prominent flutist of the classical period despite being being blind, was born in Oranienburg. Like Mozart he started performing as a child.

He worked with Carl Phillipp Emmanuel Bach as well as Mozart. He toured the world and eventually became court musician in St. Petersburg.

His youth and good looks contributed to his popularity; so did his exemplary character – his modesty, poise and virtue. Audiences were astounded by his ability to play chamber music and concertos with musicians he could not see. His flute took on a magic quality.

The writer Jean Paul modelled his fictional character Julius in his novel Hesperus on Dülon. Hölderlin took flute lessons with him Schubart devoted a poem to him.

He retired in 1798 with a pension granted him by the Zsar Paul I of Russia. He wrote his autobiography using an alphabet specially developed for him by a college professor in Dresden.

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