Flor ALPAERTS (Antwerp, 12th September 1876 - Antwerp, 5th October 1954)
In 1901 Flor Alpaerts finished his music studies at the Flemish School of Music of Antwerp, which later became the Royal Flemish Conservatory. He studied harmony and composition with Jan Blockx. In 1903 he became professor at this institute and from 1934 until 1941 its director. For one season (1922-1923) he was also director of the Royal Flemish Opera House of Antwerp together with the Bass Arthur Steurbaut.
His fame, as a composer and a conductor, came shortly after World War I, when he succeeded in 1919 Eduard Keurvels as conductor of the concerts organized by the Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp and as artistic director of the “Peter Benoit Fonds”. He also conducted the choral group “Arti Vocali”.
As a composer, Flor Alpaerts was the leading figure in the Flemish impressionistic movement. An impressionism that came closer to Richard Strauss and Ottorino Respighi than to Claude Debussy. A highlight in this direction was the symphonic poem “Pallieter” (1921-1924). With his suite “James Ensor”, inspired by four works of the Ostend painter, he created an expressionistic work. In his later compositions he turned to neo-classicism.