Jean Baptiste Sebastien Bréval was a French cellist and composer who wrote mainly for his instrument, performing many premieres of his own pieces. He was born in Paris and at age 21 he was already an active cello teacher. In 1775 he published his Op. 1, and a year later he became a member of the «Société Académique des Enfants d'Apollon». In 1778 he started his performing career, and he eventually made it to important orchestras. He died in Colligis, Aisne.
Bréval is most well known for his Sonata in C major Op. 40, No. 1, which is one of the classics of student cello literature, and often one of the first full sonatas a cello student will learn. He also wrote symphonies, concerti, sonatas, chamber music, duets, and a comic opera. Perhaps his most important work was Traité du Violoncelle (1804), probably the first systematic treatise on the cello.