Sax, Adolphe

BORN 6 Nov 1814, Dinant, Namur - DIED 4 Feb 1894, Paris
BIRTH NAME Sax, Antoine-Joseph
CAUSE OF DEATH pneumonia
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Montmartre Cimetière, 20 Avenue Rachel (division 06)

Adolphe Sax was the son of the instrument maker Charles-Joseph Sax (1790-1865) from Dinant. His birthname was Antoine-Joseph but everybody called him Adolphe. His mother designed musical instruments as well and Adolphe followed his parents from an early age. He studied flute, clarinet and voice at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels. He survived several serious incidents during his youth.

In 1842 he settled in Paris where he continued to develop new instruments. Het met Berlioz, who praised his instruments and used them. In 1845 his saxhorn was patented, followed by his famous saxophone in 1846. Between 1853 and 1858 he suffered from lip cancer but he recovered.

His instruments were used widely and with his employees he created thousands of them in his workshop. In 1857 he was engaged as a teacher at the Conservatory in Paris. His rivals often disputed his patents and sued him, leading to bankruptcies in 1852, 1873 and 1875. The problems ruined his health and he died in poverty in Paris in 1894.

Related persons
• has a connection with Berlioz, Hector


The grave of Adolphe Sax at the Cimetière Montmartre, Paris.
Picture by Androom (20 Feb 2016)


Adolphe Sax - Ville de Dinant EN
Adolphe Sax - Wikipedia

Sbolci, Jefte

Published: 24 Mar 2018
Last update: 19 Apr 2022