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Joseph Jongen

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Biography

Joseph Jongen (14 December 1873–12 July 1953) was a Belgian organist, composer, and music educator.

Jongen was born in Liège. On the strength of an amazing precocity for music, he was admitted to the Liège Conservatoire at the extraordinarily young age of seven, and there he spent the next sixteen years. The admission board was not disappointed. Jongen won a First Prize for Fugue in 1891, an honors diploma in piano the next year, and another for organ in 1896. In 1897, he won the prestigious Grande Prix de Rome which allowed him to travel to Italy, Germany and France.

He began composing at the age of 13 and immediately exhibited exceptional talent in that field too. By the time he published his Opus 1, he already had dozens of works to his credit. His monumental and massive First String Quartet was composed in 1894 and was submitted for the annual competition for fine arts held by the Royal Academy of Belgium, where it was awarded the top prize by the jury.

In 1902, he returned to his native land, and in the following year he was named a professor of harmony and counterpoint at his old Liège college. With the outbreak of World War I, he and his family moved to England where he founded a piano quartet. When peace returned, he came back to Belgium and was named professor of fugue at the Royal Conservatoire in Brussels. From 1925 until 1929, he served as director of that institution; a quarter of a century after leaving the directorship, he died at Sart-lez-Spa, Belgium.

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  • Scriabinesque

    Symphonie Concertante..definitely an amazing and unknown piece of music

    14 Aug 2010 Reply

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