Augustin Lavallée

(Jean-Baptiste André) Augustin Lavallée, (Pâquet dit Lavallée). Luthier, bandmaster, teacher, music dealer, b Verchères, Lower Canada (Quebec), 1816, d Montreal 15 Feb 1903.

Lavallée, Augustin

(Jean-Baptiste André) Augustin Lavallée, (Pâquet dit Lavallée). Luthier, bandmaster, teacher, music dealer, b Verchères, Lower Canada (Quebec), 1816, d Montreal 15 Feb 1903. He had been a blacksmith, a logger, and a gunsmith, when he moved with his family to St-Hyacinthe, Que, around 1850 to begin working with the organ manufacturer Joseph Casavant, who had built his first organ in 1840. Lavallée opened his own string-instrument workshop in St-Hyacinthe in 1852 and also conducted the village band before setting up in business in Montreal in 1869 with his son Charles under the name of Lavallée & Fils. Self-taught as an instrument maker, he and his son are believed to have made close to 200 violins. According to the anonymous author (Jules Jehin-Prume?) of Une Vie d'artiste, a biography of Frantz Jehin-Prume, the latter entrusted Lavallée with his Guarnerius after it had been crushed by a sleigh, and Lavallée restored it to its owner 'as good as new.'

See also Calixa (his son).