Composers / Thomas Tellefsen / Routes
Trasa Mature years in Paris 1849–1874
After the death of Chopin, in 1849, Tellefsen developed his composing, performing and teaching career. He took over some of Chopin’s pupils in Paris and became a sought-after teacher of the upper classes. Chopin had a great deal of faith in his student. Before his death, he entrusted Tellefsen with the completion of his school for piano, which was to include an analysis of his style of playing. In 1860, Tellefsen published the first full collection of Chopin’s solo piano pieces through Richault. In 1858, Tellefsen married Severine Bye (1839–1915), a singer from Trondheim who studied in Paris with the well-known teacher François Delsarte (1811–1871). The wedding took place at the Norwegian-Swedish embassy in Paris, in the presence of many distinguished guests, including Princess Marcelina Czartoryska, her husband Prince Alexander, Princess Golitsyn, the Duchess of Coigny and Baroness Rothschild. A year later, their daughter Jeanne was born. It seems that the Tellefsens held an open house, attracting members of the aristocracy and high society. Their house became a hub for Scandinavians living or arriving in Paris. Many times, they hosted the brilliant Norwegian violinist Ole Bull and the writer, publisher and animator of Norwegian culture Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson. At the start of the Franco-Prussian War, in 1870, the Tellefsens moved to London, where they stayed until 1873.
When they returned to Paris, Tellefsen was already very ill. He died on 6 October 1874, aged only fifty-one, and was buried in Auteuil Cemetery in Paris. During his lifetime, Tellefsen received numerous distinctions, including Cavalier of the Order of Saint Olav (1867) and Cavalier of the Royal Belgian Order of Leopold (1871).