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Tinel, Jef

Lessen, 11/05/1885 > Gent, 25/05/1972


Tinel, Jef

by Jan Dewilde

Jef Tinel studied at the Teachers Training College in Sint-Niklaas and at the Lemmens Institute in Mechelen where he was a pupil of his uncle Edgar. He composed mostly vocal music, among which sacred music, cantatas and hundreds of (militant) songs. 

With his song Wij zijn bereid! (We are prepared!) he became very popular within the Flemish Movement. The song has for many years been part of the stock canon of mass manifestations such as the Flemish National Festive Singing Day and the Flemish Ijzer Pilgrimage Day. At these gatherings he was in fact often featuring as a conductor. Furthermore he was the conductor of several Flemish-national choirs and brass bands and of the Verdinaso. After the war he was imprisoned for some weeks on a charge of collaboration.

Unlike his songs, his orchestral compositions (such as Suite voor orkest (Suite for Orchestra)) and his dramatic works (such as Fra Angelico and De verloren zoon (The Prodigal Son)) have rarely been performed.

Jef Tinel was organist in Zele, Maldegem (where he was also music teacher and director of the music school), Sint-Amandsberg and Ghent.

© Studiecentrum voor Vlaamse Muziek vzw - Jan Dewilde (translation: Jo Sneppe)