Association « Concours Hélène de Montgeroult-de Nervo, Romont, Switzerland »

The discovery of an eminent forgotten artist from a family of the region presided over the birth of the association "Concours Hélène de Montgeroult-de Nervo, Romont, Switzerland".

From then on, we wanted to make the works of this distant cousin of many inhabitants of Romont and the surrounding area known and appreciated: all the Dénervauds and other bearers of similar surnames are indeed descendants of Rodolphe de Nervaud, who lived in Bouloz at the end of the 15th century. This family originated in a hamlet near a dark and wooded valley (Val Noir) located in Prez-vers-Siviriez, a stone's throw from Romont.

A committee was quickly formed: it brought together a former state councillor and pianists, all more or less related to Hélène de Montgeroult, born de Nervo.

The Association " Concours Hélène de Montgeroult-de Nervo, Romont, Switzerland " was founded on 7 December 2021, under the patronage of the « Association des descendants de Rodolphe de Nervaud »

You can read its statutes here.

The Fribourg's origins of Hélène de Montgeroult, born de Nervo

In 1617, two brothers, Jean and François de Nervo, left Porsel (Fribourg) to settle in Lyon. There they worked with gold and silver for embroidery on the silks and precious fabrics produced in Lyon, which made its reputation. This trade, which has now disappeared, is called "master goldsmith".

In 1704, a Cour des Monnaies (Mint Court) was created in Lyon, to repress the frauds that took place both in the issuance of coins and in the trades dealing with precious metals. In order to attract candidates to this judicial office, it was decided that families who kept this office for 20 years would be ennobled. In 1751, one of Jean's sons, Barthélémy (born in 1677), aged seventy-five, acquired the office of "Conseiller secrétaire du roi près la Cour des Monnaies" (King's Secretary to the Court of Coins) and thus enabled the de Nervo family to enter the nobility of Lyon.

Her grandson, Hélène's father, Jean-Baptiste, built a mansion, still visible at 17 rue de la Charité in Lyon, where Hélène de Nervo was born.

Portail d'entrée de l'Hôtel de Nervo à Lyon où est née Hélène de Nervo

Hélène-Antoinette-Marie de Nervo was born in Lyon on 2 March 1764, at the Hôtel de Nervo, rue de la Charité 17.

In 1784, she married the Marquis André-Marie-Gautier de Montgeroult, her elder by almost thirty years, a counsellor at the Montpellier Court of Accounts and a soldier in the king's service. She thus became Marquise de Montgeroult and from then on signed all her musical works with this name, despite her subsequent marriages.

signature d'Hélène de Montgeroult

The presence of the great Bicubic concert hall in Romont, equipped with a Steinway D, convinced us that the organisation of a piano competition open to young musicians from all over the world was the best way to highlight the work of this exceptional artist.