Arthur De Greef (composer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Arthur De Greef

Arthur De Greef (10 October 1862 – 29 August 1940) was a Belgian pianist and composer.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Louvain, he won first prize in a local music competition when he was only 11, and subsequently enrolled at the Brussels Conservatoire. His main teacher there was Louis Brassin, a former pupil of Ignaz Moscheles, although he also took lessons from other staffers at the institution, including Joseph Dupont, François-Auguste Gevaert and Fernand Kufferath.[1]

After graduating with high distinction from the Conservatoire at the age of 17, De Greef went to Weimar to complete his studies under Franz Liszt. He was a Liszt pupil for two years.[2]

Following the Weimar sojourn, De Greef embarked on a career as a concert pianist, travelling widely. He was a friend of Edvard Grieg, whose Piano Concerto he had played publicly in 1898, and who called him "the best performer of my music I have met with". In addition, he enjoyed the endorsement of Camille Saint-Saëns. British critic Jonathan Woolf has written: "De Greef was, in all respects, an intensely musical, non-sensationalist, eloquent and impressive musician and whilst not being averse to some of the interventionist tactics of his contemporaries (retouching of the score) remained sympathetically self-effacing".[2]

De Greef composed a sizeable quantity of music, virtually all of which is now unheard. Among his works are two piano concertos. He was a devoted teacher, and taught piano at the Brussels Conservatoire for many years.[2]


Selected compositions[edit]


  • The Marketeeress (1878)
  • Slanting rays of the sun (1913)
  • Humoresque (1928)
  • Italian Suite
  • Flandre Suite
  • Autumn Impressions
  • Four Flemish songs with accompaniment of Vielles

Concertante works[edit]

  • Fantasy on Flemish Folk Songs for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 3 (1892)
  • Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1 in C minor (1914)
  • Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 2 in B-flat minor (1930)
  • Cinq chants d'amour, for Soprano and Orchestra
  • Piano Concertino (Concerto pour piano et petit orchestre)

Chamber music[edit]

  • Quatre pièces caractéristiques pour violon et piano (ca. 1883).
  • Sonata No. 1 in D for violin and piano (1896)
  • Sonata No. 2 in C for violin and piano
  • Six New Concert Studies
  • Trio in F for violin, cello, and piano (1935)


  • Coucher de Soleil
  • Slanting rays of the sun (1913; Orchestrated version exists)
  • Five études in concert form (Cinq études de concert) (1914–1918)
  • Sonata in C minor for 2 Pianos (1928; 2 pianos)
  • Valse-caprice (2 Pianos)


His was the first complete recording of Grieg's Piano Concerto in A minor, but he had earlier recorded a cut version. He also recorded with Isolde Menges.[4]

Other recorded works included


  • Concertos Nos. 1 & 2


  • Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op 35
  • Waltz No. 1 in E-flat, Op. 18
  • Waltz No. 5 in A-flat, Op. 42
  • Waltz No. 6 in D-flat, Op. 64, No. 1
  • Waltz No. 11 in G-flat, Op. 70, No. 1


  • Soirée de Vienne No. 6, arr. Liszt


  • Serenata in D, Op. 15, No. 1
  • Etude in G, Op. 18, No. 3
  • Waltz in E, Op. 34

A complete discography can be found Earthlink here.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Naxos
  2. ^ a b c Musicweb International
  3. ^ Royal Decree of H.M. King Albert I on 14.11.1919
  4. ^