16th November 1840
30th October 1905
Caen, Calvados, France
Jules Danbé was a French violinist, composer and conductor, mainly of opera.
Trained as a violinist, he was a pupil of Narcisse Girard and Marie Gabriel Augustin Savard, in 1859 winning a first prize for violin. He gained much experience playing in the orchestras of the Vaudeville, Théâtre Lyrique and with the Concerts Pasdeloup, and in 1871 founded the Concerts Danbé at the Grand-Hôtel in Paris, as well mounting concerts at the Salle Herz in 1874 and the Salle Ventadour in 1875.
Danbé was principal conductor at the Théâtre de la Gaîté-Lyrique in 1876, conducting Dimitri, Les Erynnies and Paul et Virginie (whose premiere at the Opéra-Comique he also conducted). Appointed conductor at the Opéra-Comique on 2 June 1877, he took up his duties on 1 September that year, remaining until April 1898. His tenure, assisted by Henri Vaillard and Giannini, was considered to have improved the quality of the orchestral playing; in 1889, a performance of the Verdi Requiem drew the comment that the orchestra was probably the best in Paris.