Hasselmans was born in Liège, Belgium. He composed several dozen original solos for harp, of which his most famous is a concert étude entitled La Source (The Wellspring), op. 44. He transcribed numerous works for harp originally written for other instruments by other composers, and edited important collections of études by the earlier 19th-century harpist Robert N. C. Bochsa.
As professor of harp at the music conservatories in Strasbourg and Paris until his sudden death in Paris at age 67, Hasselmans trained a generation of the most important French harpists of the 20th century, including Henriette Renie, Marcel Tournier, Carlos Salzedo, Marcel Grandjany, Lily Laskine, and Pierre Jamet.
His father, Joseph Hasselmans (1814–1902), was a composer, conductor, violinist, and harpist.
His daughter, Marguerite Hasselmans (1876–1947), was a concert pianist; she was also the mistress of Gabriel Fauré for many years.
His son, Louis Hasselmans (1878–1957), was a conductor, especially of opera, whose career took him to the United States, working at the Chicago Civic Opera and the Metropolitan Opera before becoming Professor of Music at Louisiana State University.
- "Louis Hasselmans Papers" Retrieved April 11, 2009.
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