Jacqueline Fontyn
composer | Belgium, °1930
 
COMPOSITION 1964 : First Prize
The parents of Jacqueline baroness Fontyn recognised her exceptional talent when she was only a toddler and entrusted her, soon after her fifth birthday, to the wonderful Russian piano teacher Ignace Bolotine. She had lessons daily, and Bolotine encouraged her to develop her taste for improvisation. At the age of fourteen, she decided to become a composer. She received her grounding in the techniques of composition from Marcel Quinet, then went to Paris where Max Deutsch, a fervent disciple of Schoenberg, taught her the twelve-tone system. She wrote in this style until 1979, although always with considerable freedom and flexibility. In 1956 she attended Hans Swarowsky's conducting class at the Akademie für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna.

From 1963 to 1990 she held the post of Professor of Music Theory, rising to Professor of Composition, first at the Koninklijk Conservatorium, Antwerp and then at the Royal Brussels Conservatoire. She is a regular guest of universities and conservatoires in Europe (Germany, France, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland and Switzerland), the United States, the Middle East, Asia (China, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan) and New Zealand. Her catalogue of over a hundred works covers orchestral, vocal, chamber and instrumental pieces which are played throughout the world, figuring in the programs of leading orchestras and major festivals.

She has received many awards, most notably the Spanish Oscar Espla Prize and the Prix Arthur Honegger from the Fondation de France. She was asked to write the set piece, a Violin Concerto, for the finals of the 1976 Queen Elisabeth Competition, and has twice undertaken commissions from the Koussevitzky Music Foundation in the Library of Congress, Washington.
Since 2006, all her manuscripts are kept in the Library of Congress. Jacqueline Fontyn is a member of the Belgian Royal Academy and in 1993 the King of Belgium granted her the title of baroness in recognition of her artistic merit.

Broad harmonic effects, rhythmic flexibility and never ceasing exploration of instrumental resources are the hallmarks of her constantly evolving musical language. Its expressive and poetic dimensions appeal to the sensitive listener keen to discover new horizons.
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