Henri Dupont (Henri Joseph Dupont) was a Belgian violinist, conductor, composer, and teacher born (in Ensival) on January 3, 1838. Brahms was five years old that year and Belgium itself was almost a brand new country at that time. Other than that he has a very recognizable surname, Dupont is not known – with regard to the violin - for anything in particular. Belgium has for generations produced many spectacular violin virtuosos but Dupont is not one of them. His name is most often mentioned as a conductor of opera – according to several sources, he conducted many outstanding performances in England (Covent Garden) which today (had they been filmed for posterity) would probably be acclaimed. He received his training from the conservatories at Liege and Brussels – I don’t know how early he began his violin studies nor who his teachers were. In 1863 he won the Belgian version of the Rome Prize (Prix de Rome) for composition. He was 25 years old. After that, he took off on a study tour throughout Europe which lasted four years – this excursion was probably subsidized by the Belgian government, although I am not certain of that. In 1867, he became concertmaster of the Warsaw Opera House. He was 29 years old. In 1871, he took a similar post at the Imperial Theatre of Moscow. One year later, he was back in Brussels where he was hired as professor of harmony at the Conservatory while simultaneously serving as concertmaster of the Monnaie Theatre (Theatre Royal de la Monnaie or Royal Theatre of the Coin – a theatre dating back to 1700.) He also served as conductor there beginning that same year. He was 34 years old. He also guest conducted operas at the Royal Opera House in London many times. In 1873, he took over as director of the Popular Concerts (Concerts Populaires) from none other than Henri Vieuxtemps (who had become incapacitated as the result of a stroke that same year.) Dupont was made a member of the Royal Academy of Belgium in 1899. He died on December 21, 1899, at age 61, just ten days before the start of the Twentieth Century.