Léon Jongen

Léon Jongen (2 March 1884 – 18 November 1969) was a Belgian composer and organist.

Joseph Jongen
Léon Jongen.png
Léon Jongen, composer, with pianists Edouardo del Pueyo and Jules Gentil at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, circa 1958.
Marie-Victor-Justin-Léon Jongen

(1884-03-02)2 March 1884
Died18 November 1969(1969-11-18) (aged 85)
EducationLiège Conservatoire
  • Organist
  • Composer
  • Academic

Musical careerEdit

He was born in Liège, on March 2, 1884. His father Alphonse had an atelier there and worked as a woodcarver.[1] Jongen studied at the Royal Conservatory of Liège and was appointed as organist at the Saint-Jacques church of Liège after his graduation in 1898, a position he held till 1904.[2] In 1913 he won the Prix de Rome with his cantata Les fiancés de Noël.

After the First World War, Jongen travelled the world: he visited Africa, India, China, Japan, and Hanoi. While in Hanoi he conducted the Tonkin Opera from 1927-1929.[2] In 1934 he returned to Belgium to become a professor of fugue at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. The Commission de surveillance gave his several directorial responsibilities in 1938 and officially appointed him as director on August 1, 1939. He succeeded his brother Joseph Jongen.[1] His appointment as director lasted till 1949.[1] Between 1960 and 1962 Léon Jongen was the chairman of the Queen Elisabeth Competition.[3]

Jongen composed symphonic works and operas. Even though he was a great admirer of the French romantic school and even knew some influence by César Franck, his musical style evolved towards more modernistic traits. He died in Brussels.

Selected worksEdit

  • Étude Symphonique pour Servir de Prélude à l' Oedipe Roi 1908
  • Roxelane 1920
  • Suite Provençale 1926
  • Suite Provençale No. 3 1926
  • Campeador 1932
  • In Memoriam Regis 1934
  • Malaisie 1935
  • Venezuela 1936
  • Fanfare 1939
  • Improvisation 1943
  • Six Esquisses 1943
  • Quatre Miniatures 1949
  • Musique pour un Ballet 1954
  • Divertissement en Forme de Variations sur un Thème de Haydn 1955
  • Fanfare 1957 [4]


  1. ^ a b c Whiteley, John Scott (1997). Joseph Jongen and His Organ Music. Pendragon Press. p. 73. ISBN 978-0-945193-82-1.
  2. ^ a b Randel, Don Michael (1999). The Harvard Concise Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-00084-1.
  3. ^ "75 years of shared music" (PDF). Queen Elisabeth Competition. 2012.
  4. ^ "Klassika: Werkverzeichnis Léon Jongen (1884-1969)". www.klassika.info. Retrieved 29 January 2020.

External linksEdit