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Matthias Vanden Gheyn: the man, the musician, the myth

  • 26 Sep 2021
  • (EDT)
  • 03 Oct 2021
  • (EDT)
  • 2 sessions
  • 26 Sep 2021, 4:00 PM 5:00 PM (EDT)
  • 03 Oct 2021, 4:00 PM 5:00 PM (EDT)
  • Zoom
  • 67



In 2021, the carillon world celebrates the 300th anniversary of organist, carillonneur and composer Matthias Vanden Gheyn (Tienen 1721 - Leuven 1785). Although his preludes for carillon are widely played, many aspects of the life and work of the musician who was nicknamed 'the Bach of the Carillon' are not commonly known or have been forgotten over the years. This anniversary year offers the opportunity to refresh our knowledge of Matthias Vanden Gheyn, to distinguish facts from myths, and to reexamine the nature and function of his famous carillon preludes.

This series of two lectures will cover the following topics: facts and myths about Vanden Gheyn's life; overview and assessment of his works for carillon and other keyboard instruments; recent insights, based on the holograph of his preludes for carillon, that was rediscovered in 1995. The first session will focus on his biographical data (ancestors, life, and myth), while second session will focus on his music, more particularly on his preludes (playing history, autograph analyses and musical value).

Dates: Sunday, September 26, 2021, and Sunday, October 3, 2021
Time: 4-5pm Eastern (1-2pm Pacific)

(Register once to get Zoom access to both sessions)

Presenter: Luc Rombouts

Luc Rombouts (°1962) studied classical philology and obtained an MBA at the University of Leuven (Belgium). He graduated at the Royal Carillon School ‘Jef Denyn’ in Mechelen in 1987. He is city carillonneur of Tienen (Belgium), university carillonneur of Leuven (Belgium), and carillonneur of Park Abbey near Leuven. He has given recitals in Europe and in the USA and has performed during festivals and congresses. Together with his colleague Twan Bearda he forms the carillon duet The Bells’ Angels, that has been exploring the repertoire for four hands carillon playing since 2000. He teaches carillon history and campanology at the Mechelen Carillon School.

Luc wrote several books on the carillon, among which the award-winning carillon history book Zingend brons, that was published in English in 2014 under the title Singing Bronze. A History of Carillon Music. In 2016 he obtained a PhD degree cum laude from the University of Utrecht with a dissertation on the origin of the carillon. Luc coordinated the project that led in 2014 to the recognition of the Belgian carillon culture as a best safeguarding practice in intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO and is president of the Belgian Carillon Heritage Committee. He is board member of the Royal Carillon School 'Jef Denyn' in Mechelen (Belgium) and director of the Singing Bronze Foundation, based in Asten. He co-founded the International Network of War Memorial and Peace Carillons, based at the Peace Palace in The Hague (the Netherlands).

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