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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Henk Badings
The Netherlands, °1907 - 1987
Henk Badings was born in 1907 in Bandung (Java). He studied mining technology at the University of Technology in Delft, received his degree cum laude in 1931 and worked at the university until 1937. In the meantime he developed his skills as a composer. He was also active with painting, sculpting and writing poetry. The only music lessons he followed were lessons in orchestration with Willem Pijper. Already in the same year of his graduation, his First Cello Concerto was performed in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, after which performances of other works followed quickly.

In 1937 his violin sonata was played at the International Music Festival in Prague. The next year this sonata and a string quartet were published with Schott in Mainz. Badings gained public interest in a very short time. In 1934 he was appointed as composition teacher at the Rotterdam Conservatory and the High School of Music of Amsterdam, of which he became director in 1938. In 1937 he decided to dedicate himself to music definitively. From 1941-1945 he was director of the Conservatory in The Hague and in 1949 he became a member of honour of the Flanders Academy of Sciences. He was lecturer of composition at the organ academy of Haarlem, lead orchestration courses for conductors in Hilversum, and was from 1961 to 1972 professor at the Musikhochschule in Stuttgart.

In 1956 he received a commission from the Holland Festival, which was the direct motive for Roelof Vermeulen to found the electronic music studio of Philips in Eindhoven. Badings realised his ballet music Kaïn and Abel there, and wrote many electronic compositions in that period of time. The studio of Philips was meant to be temporary, still it remained open until the end of 1960, and continued under the name STEM as part of the University of Utrecht. After the departure of Vermeulen Badings became director of STEM for a short period. This ended in June 1964 and STEM continued under the guidance of Gottfried Michael Koenig and Frank de Vries. Badings would never return there.

As a guest conductor he went to Australia and the United States. He received commissions to write orchestral works for the centenary celebration of the Wiener Philharmoniker and the 60th anniversary of the Concertgebouw Orchestra, an opera and Psalmensymfonie for the Holland Festival, an overture for the Cork Festival in Ireland, etc. In 1972 he settled as composer in the province Noord-Brabant.
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Raymond Chevreuille
Belgium, °1901 - 1976
Raymond Chevreuille débute sa formation musicale à l’école de musique de Saint-Josse-ten-Noode puis entre au Conservatoire royal de Bruxelles pour l’étude de l’harmonie. Dans cette discipline, il obtient un second prix dans la classe de Gabriel Minet en 1922 et un premier prix dans la classe de François Rasse en 1924. Il quitte très rapidement l’institution pour parfaire son apprentissage en autodidacte.

Engagé à l’Institut National de Radiodiffusion en 1936, il y travaille comme spécialiste de la prise de son et y acquiert une solide compétence dans les domaines de l’orchestration et de l’acoustique musicale. Il donnera aussi quelques cours à l’école de musique de Saint-Josse-ten-Noode. En 1956, il devient directeur des programmes francophones, fonction qu’il occupera jusqu’à la retraite en 1966.

Raymond Chevreuille a composé tant pour le concert que pour le théâtre, l’opéra ou la radio avec le souci constant de sortir des sentiers battus en multipliant les recours à l’atonalité, la polytonalité ou la modalité, sans jamais s’obstiner à suivre une de ces voies exclusivement. C’est à l’expression qu’il accorde une importance primordiale; non pas dans un but spécifiquement descriptif, mais guidé par le besoin de suggérer ou d’évoquer des sentiments. Il en résulte un style encore proche de l’impressionnisme français, mais libéré du poids subjectif et incorporant des mélodies plus anguleuses et des harmonies plus denses.

C’est dans le cadre des Concerts Pro Arte, organisés à Bruxelles par Paul Collaer dans les années vingt, qu’il commence à s’intéresser à la musique contemporaine. Après s’être imprégné de l’œuvre de Richard Strauss et de celle d’Igor Stravinski, comme en ont témoigné quelques tentatives qu’il a préféré détruire, il inscrira ses premiers essais de composition dans la veine de l’expressionnisme viennois. C’est l’influence de Berg principalement qui le guidera et il sera un des premiers compositeurs belges à tenter l’écriture musicale sérielle.

Raymond Chevreuille s’autorise à signer son premier opus, un Quatuor à cordes, en 1928. Comme Schoenberg dans son deuxième quatuor opus 10, il ajoute une voix de soprano aux quatre archets. Son intérêt pour Berg est davantage sensible dans le Quatuor à cordes opus 5 (1934), surnommé par un critique Quatuor des aphorismes tant il rappelle la brièveté de Webern. Sa réputation s’installe assez rapidement et, dès 1934, il sera régulièrement joué au Festival de la Société internationale de Musique contemporaine. Le quatuor sera pour lui une forme privilégiée de recherches et de réflexions entre 1930 et 1945; il en composera six (op. 1, 5, 6, 13, 23, 32) ainsi qu’un quatuor de violoncelles (op. 24, 1942).

Au fil des opus, Raymond Chevreuille cherche un style propre en s’appliquant à la technique dodécaphonique et en tentant de se libérer des contraintes de la forme. En effet, si le compositeur s’est dans un premier temps conformé à la tradition d’une forme bien établie et structurée sur la base de l’opposition de thèmes, son goût pour l’expressionnisme de Berg l’a peu à peu mené à des conceptions plus libres au sein de compositions hantées par le monde des rêves, la psychologie, la solitude, les sentiments contradictoires. Raymond Chevreuille évoluera vers un langage chromatique qui s’appuie sur une hiérarchie de polarités, c’est-à-dire en accordant une prédominance à certains sons.

La musique pour orchestre occupe la plus grande place du catalogue de Raymond Chevreuille : trois concertos pour piano (op. 10, 1937; op. 50, 1952; op. 88, 1968), trois concertos pour violon (op. 19, 1941; op. 56, 1953; op. 86, 1965), deux concertos pour violoncelle (op. 16, 1940), un concerto pour trompette (op. 58/4, 1954), neuf symphonies (op. 14, 30, 47, 54, 60, 67, 68, 84, 95), des œuvres d’inspiration thématique dont Barbe Bleue (op. 42, 1949), Breughel, peintre des humbles (op. 82, 1963), Carnaval à Ostende (op. 72, 1959), Cendrillon (op. 33, 1946). Dans Breughel, peintre des humbles, il atteint toute sa mesure dans l’art de l’évocation sonore. Construite en cinq parties (Fanfare à la gloire de Breughel, le Repas de Noces, la Fenaison, les Jeux d’enfants, le Combat de Carnaval et de Carême), l’œuvre explore toutes les ressources de l’orchestre et adopte un style très contrôlé. Son double concerto pour saxophone et piano (à l’origine pour alto et piano, op. 34, 1946) révèle aussi une grande imagination thématique et une ingéniosité rythmique manifestement très sensible à l’influence du jazz.

La sensibilité de Raymond Chevreuille est très variée. Le climat poétique, souvent tendre, éthéré, se manifeste dans ses deux cantates, Evasions (1942) et Les saisons (1943), tandis que l’intensité dramatique ou l’expression grave caractérise surtout ses quatuors. Les œuvres plus proches de l’influence de Berg (la troisième symphonie, le deuxième concerto pour piano) sont d’un pessimisme plus amer. Cette diversité expressive se reflète également dans les choix de textes de Maurice Carême, Aragon, Franc-Nohain, Emile Verhaeren, saint François d’Assise, Joseph Weterings et P. de Clairmont.

Sont intérêt pour l’orchestration et très probablement son expérience d’ingénieur du son ont éclairé ses choix très distingués en matière de couleurs instrumentales et d’alliages de timbres. C’est dans ce domaine qu’il a réalisé dans les années cinquante des combinaisons totalement inédites et très réussies. Dans ses deux grandes œuvres radiophoniques D’un diable de briquet op. 45 et L’Elixir du Révérend Père Gaucher op. 48 (d’après Alphonse Daudet, 1951), il a eu recours aux techniques expérimentales de musique électroacoustique. Raymond Chevreuille a également écrit un opéra de chambre, Atta Troll op. 51 (D’après H. Heine, 1952) et plusieurs ballets : Jean et les argayons op. 7 (1934), Cendrillon op. 33 (1946), Le Bal chez la potière op. 59 (1954).

Sa carrière de compositeur fut couronnée de nombreux prix et récompenses dont le Prix de l’Art populaire en 1944, le Prix de l’Académie Picard en 1946, le Prix Italia en 1950 pour D’un diable de briquet et il vit également son deuxième Concerto pour piano imposé au Concours Reine Elisabeth en 1952. Il reçut aussi de prestigieuses commandes, dont celle d’une symphonie par le Fonds Koussevitzky de la Library of Congress et celle d'une cantate sur des chants populaires belges, à la demande du Festival de Pittsburg.

Raymond Chevreuille avait été élu membre de l’Académie royale de Belgique le 4 janvier 1973.
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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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Norman Demuth
Great Britain, °1898 - 1968
English composer and writer on music Norman Demuth studied at the Royal College of Music with Dunhill until 1915, when he joined the army. Invalided out in 1916, he earned his living from 1917 as a church organist. As a composer he was essentially self-taught, though he received a good deal of encouragement from Dan Godfrey. His first orchestral performance came in 1925, when the Selsey Rhapsody was given by the LSO under Boult. Then for a number of years his music was frequently played in the provinces, and he conducted performances of his own and other works at various south-coast towns (he was a regular conductor of several choral and orchestral societies in south-east England at this time); but almost all of the pieces written before 1937 were later destroyed. In 1930 he was appointed professor of composition at the Royal Academy of Music, where he stayed for the remainder of his career, except for army service in World War II. He was secretary of the RAM New Music Society from 1936 to 1939. he was also made an Officer of the Académie (1951) and a Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur (1954).

Norman Demuth's sympathies were with French music from Franck to Roussel, though his music avoids the more superficial gallicisms. Its somewhat austere melody, in which definable tunes have little part, and its complex but subtle harmony display a more general affinity with d'Indy or Roussel. Certain works, such as the Threnody for strings, are almost Franckian in their intense chromaticism; others, like the Ouverture for a Joyful Occasion, have a Stravinskian brightness. In later works the harmony is rather hard and severe. His form is often cyclic, and in many cases a large-scale work is evolved from one or two short motifs.
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Henri Gagnebin
Switzerland, °1886 - 1977
Born in 1886 in Liège, Belgium, the descendant of a family originating from Morges, Switzerland, Henri Gagnebin began his musical studies in Lausanne before pursuing them in Berlin (1905-1906), at the Geneva Conservatoire (1906 to 1908) and then from 1908 to 1916 at the Schola Cantorum in Paris, where he earned his Advanced Diploma.

He resided in Lausanne where he held the position of organist at the Temple de Saint-Jean. He taught music history and sight-reading at Lausanne Conservatoire, as well as music history and organ at the Neuchatel Conservatoire. In 1925, he was appointed Director of the Geneva Conservatoire, a position he held for thirty-two years until 1957, before becoming the dean of keyboard studies until his retirement in 1961. In 1938 he founded the CIEM, the Geneva International Music Competition, and served as its President until 1959.

That same year, he received the City of Geneva Music Award. In 1961 he was awarded the Jura Institute's Grand Prize and in 1963 the Composer Prize from the AMS (American Musicology Society).

As a composer he tackled all types of music with the exception of opera. He composed symphonies, two ballets, a trio and four quartets as well as large number of works for instruments and ensembles. These include four toccatas for the piano, a concerto for piano and orchestra, two church sonatas, several organ works and a hundred works based on the Huguenot psalms.

He died in Geneva in 1977.
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Alfred Uhl
Austria, °1909 - 1992
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