Francois Auguste Gevaert
Gevaert was born at Huysse, near Oudenarde, July 31, 1828, and died at Brussels, December 24, 1908.
His father was a baker, and he was intended for the same profession, but better councils prevailed and he was permitted to study music.
He was sent in 1841 to the Convervatory at Ghent, where he studied under Sommere and Mengal. He was then appointed organist of the Jesuit’s church.
His compositions soon attracted attention, and he eventually won a prize which entitled him to two years’ travel. The
journey was postponed during the production of his first opera and other works.
In 1849 he commenced his journey, and after a short stay in Paris went to Spain, and subsequently to Italy.
Important compositions were produced in Paris, and in 1867 he was appointed “Chef de Chant” at the Academie de Musique, Paris, in succession to Halevy.
In 1871 he was appointed head of the Brussels Conservatory. Though a successful composer he was happier as a
teacher, historian, writer and lecturer on music.
His many works include the well-known Treatise on Instrumentation, a book on Harmony and a Vade Mecum for organists.
His composition include about a dozen operas (Quentin Durward, Le Capitaine Henriot, etc.), cantatas for national occasions, songs and other works.
His chief service to music, however, was as an educator.