François-Auguste Gevaert

Not just an organist, pianist and prize winning composer, Gevaert was a well traveled musician and teacher. He received acceptance in Spain, Germany, Belgium, France and Italy especially impressing the royal families of Belgium and Spain. "Fantasia sobre motivos espanoles," composed for the orchestra, found favor with Queen Isabella and the cantata "Le roi Lear" won the Prix de Rome of Belgium. His "Nouveau traite d'instrumentation" (new traits of instrumentation) was a teaching methodology so important that it was translated into German by Riemann and Russian by Tchaikovsky. Gevaert's "Histoire et theorie de la musique de l'antique" (Musical history and theory of the ancients) was a thorough examination of the cultural history of music. By his influence, the music schools of Belgium went through a great reformation and his import can be further understood since Gevaert was the first successor to Fetis as the director of the Brussels Conservatory. ~ Keith Johnson

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