Jean-Christophe Krafft (zhah[n]-krees-TOHF krahft), a musical genius who is uneducated in most phases of life. He has temporary love affairs and gets involved in the syndicalist political movement. He dies alone in Paris, recognized as the world’s greatest composer of modern music.
Melchior Krafft (mehl-CHOHR), his virtuoso father.
Louisa (lwee-ZAH), his lower-class mother.
Jean Michel (zhah[n] mee-SHEHL), a famous orchestra conductor and Jean-Christophe’s grandfather.
Ada (ah-DAH), a vulgar shop girl who becomes Jean-Christophe’s first mistress.
Lorchen (lohr-SHAH[N]), a young farm girl in whose defense Jean-Christophe kills a soldier and has to leave Germany.
Colette Stevens (koh-LEHT stay-VAH[N]), a coquette to whom Jean-Christophe gives music lessons.
Grazia (grah-TSYAH), Colette’s cousin, who secretly helps build Jean-Christophe’s reputation. After her husband’s death, she encourages Jean-Christophe in Switzerland.
Antoinette (ahn-twah-NEHT), who dies of consumption while educating her brother Olivier.
Olivier (oh-lee-VYAY), a writer who admires Jean-Christophe’s work. He is killed while with Jean-Christophe in a May Day political riot.
Jacqueline (zhahk-LEEN), a shallow girl, Olivier’s wife.
Anna (ah-NAH), a married woman with whom Jean-Christophe has an affair during his Swiss exile.