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De Latin, Willem

° Antwerpen, 22/09/1876 — † Antwerpen, 24/11/1942

Annelies Focquaert (translation: Jo Sneppe)

Though this isn't entirely clear, it is most likely that Joseph Callaerts was Willem De Latin's organ teacher at the Antwerp Conservatory. In 1896 in fact De Latin was appointed by Benoit as assistant teacher of organ at the Antwerp Conservatory, a position he held until his retirement in 1941. Head teachers in this long period were Joseph Callaerts, Arthur De Hovre and Alex Paepen: presumably De Latin taught students of the junior years. During World War I he was also standing in for Julius De Vos, who was the assistant piano teacher. As organist he was affiliated, from August 1904 on, with the Protestant Church at the Lange Winkelstraat in Antwerp, on Whit Sunday 1905 inaugurating the new Walcker organ there.

His commitment to the Antwerp music scene is proven by his participation in the Symphony Concert around Antwerp composers organised on 18 December 1901 by the Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp, at which he interpreted Callaerts' Concerto for Organ and Orchestra, conducted by Edward Keurvels. He also played a work of his own entitled: Albumblad (Album Leaf) for organ and orchestra, and a Feestmarsch (Festive March) by Jozef Compaens, likewise for organ and orchestra. He also appears as organ accompanist at the concerts of the 'Christelijke Zangvereniging Exelsior' (Christian Choral Society Excelsior) in the 1920s.

A caricature preserved in the Letterenhuis (Antwerp Archives and Museum of Flemish Culture) shows that he was associated with the band 'Kwartet-Kapel': De Latin is represented as an organ grinder and is called Willem de Zwijger (William the Silent) - but it isn't clear what actually was his involvement with the quartet.

He was Knight of the Order of Leopold and of the Order of the Crown.

Only a small number of his works have been published: some songs and a few clavier reductions, amongst others of Benoit's Spokendans (Dance of the Ghosts) and the organ arrangement Plechtige optocht (Solemn Parade). In the Antwerp Conservatory a whole series of unpublished manuscripts can yet be found, most of them for singing and piano and some for organ.

Archief Bibliotheek Conservatorium Antwerpen.


Anderen over deze componist

  • Archief Protestantse Kerk Antwerpen-Noord, met dank aan Dick Wursten.
  • Dommisse, C.: Het Walckerorgel (1905) van de protestantse kerk "de olijfberg" te Antwerpen, in: Orgelkunst, december 2006, p. 206-209.
  • Verdin, J. en Vanderhoeven, W.: De Orgelklas van het KVC, in: Koninklijk Vlaams Conservatorium, traditie en vernieuwing, Antwerpen, 1998, p. 103-112.

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