Active in Amsterdam
Jacques Franco-Mendès was a musician of Portuguese origins.
He descends from a Portuguese family settled for a long time in Amsterdam, has exercised a great, indeed the greatest influence on Dutch cello playing. He was born in 1816 (Fetis gives the year of his birth 1812. His brother, Joseph, was born 1816) in the said town, and in his earliest years began the practice of music. He received instruction from Prager on the Violoncello, from Bertelmann in theory, and, in order to educate himself still further in cello playing, be went to Merk, at Vienna, in 1829.
As a composer, Franco-Mendes proved that to a certain extent his aim was worthy of respect, for he occupied himself with chamber music in its more serious aspect. He wrote two Quintets and a String Quartet, one of which was distinguished by receiving a prize from the Netherlands "Society for the advancement of Music." He has also composed a long list of Drawing-room pieces for his instrument, amongst them a grand Duo for two Violoncellos, an Elegie, "Fantasias,"Caprices," and more pieces of the same kind; some of them are still performed, as, for example, the Adagio (Op. 48).