Hone, Jules

Hone, Jules (b Gilles-Joseph). Violinist, teacher, composer, conductor, b Liège, Belgium, 7 Apr 1833, d Montreal 15 Sep 1913; shared deuxième prix violin (Liège Cons) 1851. He studied violin 1846-54 at the Liège Cons royal with Joseph Dupont, and 1854-6 at the Brussels Cons royal with Hubert Léonard. He emigrated to the USA in 1856 and settled in New York, where he served 1856-65 as conductor of Niblo's Garden Theatre orchestra, which gave concerts and operatic performances. Moving ca 1865 to Montreal, Hone devoted himself primarily to teaching in convents: in Sault-au-Récollet for the Sisters of the Sacred Heart, in Lachine for the Sisters of Ste-Anne, and in Montreal for the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. He also taught 1881-4 at the Collège Ste-Marie and privately. Among his pupils were François Boucher, Oscar Martel, Charles Reichling, Jean Duquette, and his son Émile Hone, who died at sea in 1883.

Hone also formed an amateur orchestra and gave public concerts in Montreal. It was at his invitation that his compatriot the Belgian violinist Frantz Jehin-Prume visited Montreal in 1865 for the first time. This social visit was followed by a number of concerts and Jehin-Prume settled in Montreal a few years later. Among Hone's works (several published in Brussels by Schott Frères) are the opera The Grandee, sung in 1899 at His Majesty's Theatre; a Mass presented at Notre-Dame Church; La Canadienne, fantasy for violin and piano (Boucher, 3rd edn no date); Souvenir d'Arthabeska (sic), 'ronde canadienne' for violin and piano (Schott Frères); and a Marche militaire nationale chinoise (Durdilly, Hayet 1913), dedicated to Dr Sun Yat Sen. Hone also wrote arrangements and harmonizations of Canadian and Irish folksongs and prepared a Méthode de violon (Schott Frères). In 1892 he became a member of France's Société des auteurs, compositeurs et éditeurs de musique (SACEM). At Hone's death Paul-G. Ouimet in Le Devoir described him as 'the first conservatory graduate from Europe to come to Montreal. On his arrival he opened a studio and was for several years the guiding spirit of our artistic movement'.

Hone's eldest daughter, Cécile (Mme Arthur Léger; b New York 1860, d Montreal April 1948), was president 1915-18, 1921-4, and 1929-32 of the Ladies' Morning Musical Club of Montreal. She wrote a small book titled Fifty Years of Musical Recollections (Montreal 1942). In 1949 the Cécile-Léger Scholarship was established in her memory by the club.