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Bossaerts, Louis

Antwerpen, 01/02/1830 > Antwerpen, 08/01/1902


Bossaer(t)s, Louis

by Adeline Boeckaert

Bossaerts (Bossaers) was brought up on music, his father Pierre Joseph (1804-1874) being tenured organist at St Willibrordus' church in Antwerp for over 50 years. Louis began his musical career as a choirboy in the Antwerp St James' church. He got his first music lessons from his father and from Jean-Valentin Bender, subsequently pursuing his music education at  the Royal Conservatoire of Brussels, with François-Joseph Fétis for composition and Jacques-Nicolas Lemmens for organ. In 1853 he was appointed as organist of St Augustine's church in Antwerp. For a jubilee celebration of this church's parish priest he composed a Cantata, while in that same year he competed for the vacancy of organist at the Antwerp Our Lady's Cathedral. Yet it was Joseph Callaerts who succeeded in obtaining the position. In 1867 he was appointed as a piano teacher at the Flemish Music School of Antwerp - in 1898 upgraded to the Royal Flemish Conservatory - , a position he held until his retirement in 1899.

Louis Bossaerts' oeuvre mainly consists of religious music, which has mostly come down to us in manuscript. His eight-part motet Tota pulchra es was praised in Le précurseur as “a well-worked page with quite a strong effect. The religious thought dominating the work and rising at first in all its simplicity, is elaborated in a lively way , soon to break down in the midst of the great voices of the orchestra and the double choir, and subsequently to reappear again in its initial simplicity. In addition he composed some short piano works carrying titles such as Souvenir de Borgerhout and La tabagie. His Andante for piano was interpreted in 1869 by Emiel Wambach, at an exam in Mathieu Hennen's piano class.

© Studiecentrum voor Vlaamse Muziek vzw - Adeline Boeckaert (translation: Jo Sneppe)