Philippe Boesmans (1936 – 2022)

Belgian composer, Philippe Boesmans died last night after a short illness. Born on 17 May 1936 in Tongeren, Belgium, he and studied piano at the conservatory in Liège, where he was also introduced to serial composing techniques by Pierre Froidebise.

It was only after coming into contact with the “Liège Group” (Henri Pousseur, André Souris, and Célestin Deliège [fr]) in 1957 that he began to write music, as a self-taught composer. Starting in 1962 he participated in productions of the Centre de Recherches Musicales de Wallonie, collaborating with Pousseur.

He was also active as a pianist with the Ensemble Musique Nouvelle. Also in 1962 he became a producer at the Radio Télévision Belge de la Communauté Française (RTBF), working with the radio orchestra there. From this experience, he learned much about composing and orchestrating music.

Recognition quickly followed, and in 1971 he won the Prix Italia for his composition Upon La-Mi. He worked as a producer for the RTBF and was a composer in residence at the La Monnaie opera house in Brussels.

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