Chairman of the jury
Marcel Poot
Belgium, °1901 - 1988
Marcel Poot (1901-1988), the son of Jan Poot, director of the Royal Flemish Theatre, grew up in an artistic milieu. He took his first music lessons with the organist Gerard Nauwelaerts and subsequently studied solfège, piano and harmony from 1916 to 1919 at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels with Arthur De Greef, José Sevenans and Martin Lunssens. His first prizes in counterpoint (1922) and fugue (1924) were earned at the Royal Conservatory in Antwerp with Lodewijk Mortelmans. He also studied composition and orchestration privately with Paul Gilson.

Together, Poot and Gilson published La Revue Musicale Belge, a periodical that appeared starting in 1925. In that same year, he and seven other of Gilson’s students set up the group known as Les Synthétistes, which aimed to create a synthesis of the achievements of current musical evolutions, without sacrificing their individuality. In 1930, he won the Rubens Prize, which allowed him to study for three years with Paul Dukas at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris.

Marcel Poot began his career at the State Secondary School in Vilvoorde and also taught piano, solfège and music history at the music academy in that city. He taught practical harmony (1939) and counterpoint (1940-1949) at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels before becoming director of that school (1949-1966). Besides this, he was a lecturer at the Institut Supérieur des Arts Décoratifs, headmaster of the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel (1970-1976), a member of the Royal Flemish Academy for Sciences, Letters and Fine Arts, a jury member for the Queen Elisabeth Competition (1963-1981), chairman of SABAM (composers’ rights organisation), the Union of Belgian Composers and CISAC (the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers), and he was a jury member for various composition competitions.
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Francis de Bourguignon
Belgium, °1890 - 1961
Belgian composer Francis de Bourguignon studied at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels with Huberti, Paulin Marchand, Dubois and Tinel. He also studied piano with Arthur de Greef. After having won a first prize he was appointed to assist de Greef.

From 1915 until 1920 he was the assisting partner of Nellie Melba. Together they made concert tours from one continent to another. He continued to travel alone until 1925, then having completed six world-tours he settled in Brussels. There, he received advice in composition from Paul Gilson and he became a member of the Synthétistes, group guided by Paul Gilson, consisting of some of his pupils who were considered as the best young progressive Belgian composers of the twenties.

He was professor of harmony and counterpoint at the Royal Conservatory of Music of Brussels. He also worked as a music critic.

His first compositions were descriptive and impressionistic, later on he turned to the more classic forms.
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Léon Jongen
Belgium, °1884 - 1969
Upon completion of his studies at the Conservatory of Liège, Léon Jongen became organist at the Saint Jacques church in his native city. In 1913, he won the First Grand Prize of Rome with his cantata Les fiancés de Noël. He started a career as pianist. In 1918 after World War I he travelled extensively to Africa, India, China and Japan and for 2 years was director and conductor of the Opéra Français of Hanoï.

Back in Belgium in 1934 he taught fugue at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, afterwards he succeeded his brother Joseph as director of this institution. From 1939 to 1949 he conducted the concerts of the conservatory. His Violin Concerto was the compulsory work of the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 1963.

He wrote numerous symphonic works and he was attracted by the theatre. His opera Thomas l’Agnelet is one of the best lyrical works ever written in Belgium. Although a great admiror of the French romantic school and slightly influenced by César Franck he nevertheless developed towards more modernistic conceptions.
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Victor Legley
Belgium, °1915 - 1994
Victor Legley (1915-1994) received his first music lessons - in viola, harmony and counterpoint -with Lionel Blomme in Ypres. In 1935 he began his full-time musical education at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels, where he earned first prizes in viola, chamber music, counterpoint and fugue.

From 1936 to 1948 he played viola in the Symphony Orchestra of what was then the NIR (National Broadcasting Corporation). On the advice of fellow violist Gérard Ruymen, he began to take lessons in composition with Jean Absil in 1941, a study that was rewarded in 1943 with the Second Rome Prize. After the war he played in the orchestra of the opera in Brussels and in the Déclin Quartet, in which he became acquainted with the music of Bartók and Schönberg.

In 1947, Victor Legley became a progammer for the NIR, and then advisor-department head for 'serious music' and for the third programme of the Flemish radio broadcasts. In this function, he attempted to promote contemporary music and Belgian composers in particular.

From 1948 to 1950 he was a teacher at the Municipal Conservatory in Leuven. In 1949 he was named professor of harmony at the conservatory in Brussels and in 1956 professor of composition and analysis at the Muziekkapel Koningin Elisabeth. He held both functions until 1979.

In 1965 Victor Legley became a member of the Royal Academy of Belgium and was its chairman until 1972. He was also the author of numerous articles for the proceedings of the Royal Academy for Sciences, Letters and Fine Arts of Belgium. He was chairman of SABAM (the authors' rights association) from 1980 to 1992, and of the Union of Belgian Composers from 1986 to 1990. He has also often served as jury-member or chairman at international competitions, such as the Queen Elisabeth Competition, the Verviers International Competition of Lyrical Song, and the Bösendorfer-Empire International Piano Competition.

In 1986 he was appointed officer of the Order of Leopold. The Vrije Universiteit Brussel granted him an honorary doctorate in 1987. In addition, he has received a great many prizes and distinctions, both for specific works and for his complete oeuvre. He has also represented Belgium at various foreign festivals and new music conferences.
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Marcel Quinet
Belgium, °1915 - 1986
Marcel Quinet (1915-1986) attended the music academy of his native town Binche before completing his studies at the Royal Conservatory of Mons. By 1934, he entered the Royal Music Conservatory of Brussels where he earned several successes: a first prize in fugue (Prix Gevaert, 1938), Master Degree in piano (Prix Ella Olin, 1942), a composition prize (Prix Agniez, 1946), etc.

Marcel Quinet studied with major teachers such as Fernand Quinet (harmony), Léon Jongen (fugue), and Marcel Maas (piano). He learnt composition with Léon Jongen and more particularly with Jean Absil.

In 1945, he was awarded the Premier Grand Prix de Rome for his cantata “La Vague et le Sillon”. This marked the start of his career as a composer. He received a Second Prize at the Queen Elisabeth Composition Competition, with his “Variation pour Orchestre” (1957). In 1959, the CeBeDeM awarded Marcel Quinet the Prize of Composition Emile Doehaert for his “Divertimento”. He received the Prix de l’Union de la Presse Musicale Belge in 1964, the Prix Irma de la Hault in 1966, la bourse Koopal in 1970, le Prix SABAM in 1972 and the Prix de la Fondation Darche in 1978.

He first taught at the Academy of Binche (1939-1943) before teaching piano at the Academy of Etterbeek (1941-1969). As of 1943, he was piano lecturer at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels; he then became a professor of written harmony (1948-1959) and later fugue (1959-1979). In both Saint-Josse-Ten-Noode and Schaerbeek, he was director of the Music Academy (1951-1975); he repeatedly taught as a special and later associate professor of composition at the Chapelle Reine Elisabeth of Belgium (1968-1979). At the SABAM, he held the positions of managing-director (1976-1980) and chairman of the Mutual Aid and Solidarity Fund (1980-1986).

By 1959 he has become a well-known figure in 20th century music. «In Marcel Quinet’s first works, especially through Hindemith there were signs of a strong will to return to Bach. Elsewhere there are clear signs of his admiration for Bartok but Absil’s influence proved undoubtedly decisive in his works. This influence clearly materialised in the way he developed his melodies, in his elegant countrepoint writing and in his firm handling of orchestration. Quinet admirably succeeded in writing for piano. Above all, he enjoyed working out formal sets in which heightened sensibility was visible» wrote Robert Wangermée. In his creative work, Marcel Quinet assimilated the most radical novelties and integrated them into his own personal expression including various influences from Bartok, Stravinsky and the Viennese School. Although he has started with tonal music, he later concentrated on plurimodality and non-serial atonal chromatic music. In 1969 he discovered the importance of the music of ancient Greece and more specially its metric structure, as his later works tend to show it.

He was appointed Correspondent in 1976 and later member in 1978 of Fine Arts Class at the Royal Academy of Belgium.

Marcel Quinet left behind hundreds of listed works, expressed in modern language, remarkably written in a very personal way without excess, with the refinement that was so typical of his expression.
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