Frédéric Devreese

(b. 2 June 1929, Amsterdam – d. 28 September 2020, Brussels).

Belgian composer, born in the Netherlands, of mostly orchestral, chamber and piano works that have been performed throughout the world; he was also active as a conductor.

Mr. Devreese initially studied with his father, the composer and conductor Godfried Devreese (b. 1893 – d. 1972). He later studied composition with Marcel Poot and conducting with René Defossez in Brussels, composition with Ildebrando Pizzetti at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome from 1952–55 and conducting with Hans Swarowsky at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna in 1955–56.

Among his honours were the Prijs of the municipality of Ostend (1949, for Concerto No. 1), the Prix Italia (1964, for Willem van Saefthingen, shared with Mark Liebrecht), the Georges Delerueprijs from the Internationaal Filmfestival van Vlaanderen-Gent (1990, for Het Sacrament), the Joseph Plateauprijs from the Internationaal Filmfestival van Vlaanderen-Gent (1990, for Het Sacrament), and the Klara Carrièreprijs (2006). In addition, he wrote the imposed work for the Koningin Elisabethwedstrijd in Brussels (1983, Concerto No. 4) and for the competition Adolphe Sax in Dinant (1998, Ostinati). He was also nominated as Cultural Ambassador of Flanders (1996–97, for his recordings in the series Anthology of Flemish Music for the label Marco Polo).

As a conductor, he often led the Brussels Philharmonic and served as a guest conductor of orchestras throughout the world.





Willem van Saefthingen (opera for TV, libretto by Jean Francis), 1962–63

Le Cavalier bizarre (opera, libretto by Michel de Ghelderode), 1976


Concerto No. 1, piano, orchestra, 1949

Concerto, violin, orchestra, 1951

Concerto No. 2, piano, orchestra, 1952

Symphony, 1952

Concerto No. 3, piano, orchestra, 1955

Mascarade Suite, 1956

Deux Mouvements, string orchestra, 1953–63

Evocation Suite, 1966

Divertimenti, string orchestra, 1970

Overture, large orchestra, 1976

Concerto No. 4, piano, orchestra, 1983

Pré, 1983

Benvenuta, 1984 (concert suite from film score)

Gemini Suite, 2 orchestras, 1986 (version of work for 2 pianos)

L'Œuvre au noir, 1988 (concert suite from film score)

Masque, brass band, 1989

Valse Sacrée, 1989

Thème et Danse, 1989

Belle, string orchestra, 1991 (concert suite from film score)

Variations and Theme, string orchestra, 1992

Valse Sacrée, string orchestra, 1994

La Partie d'échecs, string orchestra, 1995 (concert suite from film score)

Ostinati (concertino), alto saxophone, accordion, string orchestra, 1998

Concertino, cello, bandoneón, string orchestra, 1998

Concerto, cello, orchestra, 1999


Complainte, oboe, piano, 1953

Divertimenti a due, violin, cello, 1968

Divertimenti, string quartet, 1970

Suite No. 1, French horn, 2 trumpets, trombone, tuba, 1970

Four Short Waltzes, 4 recorders, 1979

Suite No. 2, French horn, 2 trumpets, trombone, tuba, 1981

Five Divertimenti (quartet no. 1), 4 saxophones, 1985

Benvenuta, violin, piano, 1987

Valse Sa, ensemble, 1987

Sax Blues, alto saxophone, piano, 1989

Benvenuta, violin, cello, piano, 1990

Berceuse et Finale, violin, piano, 1991

Three Dances, 10 winds, 1991

Passage, harmonica, jazz ensemble, 1994

Divertimenti a due, guitar, violin, 1996

Suite, alto saxophone, piano, 1998

Récitativo et Allegro, trumpet, piano, 2000

Blues, trumpet, piano, 2001

Canti, cello, piano, 2001

Quartet, violin, viola, cello, piano, 2001

Three Pieces, flute/alto saxophone, piano, 2002

James Ensor Quartet (quartet no. 2), 4 saxophones, 2002

Passage à 5, guitar (+ electric guitar), violin, double bass, piano, accordion, 2002


Vier oud vlaamse liederen, mixed chorus, 1966

Ballade for Damien, children's chorus, harmonica, string orchestra, 1988


Mascarade, 1953

Prélude, 1972

Gemini Suite, 2 pianos, 1980 (also version for 2 orchestras)

Black and White (Nine Easy Pieces), 1984

Lullaby for Jesse, 1992

Short Waltzes, 1997

Mobile, piano 4 hands, 2000

Soundtrack 1–3 (30 pieces), 1972–2001

Nine Waltzes, 2001


De Grafbewaker, 1965 (Harry Kümel)

L'Homme au crâne rasé, 1965 (André Delvaux)

De Overkant, 1966 (Herman Wuyts)

Un Soir, un train, 1968 (André Delvaux)

Rendez-vous à Bray, 1971 (André Delvaux)

Belle, 1973 (André Delvaux) (a concert suite was arranged)

Du bout des lèvres, 1976 (Jean-Marie Degèsves)

Le Filet américain (België door de vleesmolen), 1981 (Robbe De Hert, Chris Verbiest)

Benvenuta, 1983 (André Delvaux) (a concert suite was arranged)

Les Noces barbares, 1987 (Marion Hänsel)

L'Œuvre au noir, 1988 (André Delvaux) (a concert suite was arranged)

Het Sacrament, 1989 (Hugo Claus)

Il Maestro, 1990 (Marion Hänsel)

La Partie d'échecs, 1994 (Yves Hanchar) (a concert suite was arranged)

Pauline & Paulette, 2001 (Lieven Debrauwer)

Mein Name ist Bach, 2003 (Dominique de Rivaz)

DISCOGRAPHY (as composer)

Concerto No. 2; Concerto No. 3; Concerto No. 4. Daniel Blumenthal, piano; Frédéric Devreese/Brussels Philharmonic (Marco Polo: 8.223505, 1993)

Soundtrack 1–3. André De Groote, piano (Marco Polo: 8.223651, 1994)

Benvenuta (suite from film score); Un Soir, un train (suite from film score); L'Œuvre au noir (suite from film score); Belle (suite from film score). Frédéric Devreese/Brussels Philharmonic (Marco Polo: 8.223681, 1994)

Overture; Concerto No. 1; Gemini Suite (both versions); Valse Sacrée; Lullaby for Jesse; Black and White (Nine Easy Pieces); Mascarade. Daniel Blumenthal, piano; Robert Groslot, piano; Frédéric Devreese/orchestra; Walter Gillessen/orchestra; Georges-Élie Octors/orchestra; Fernand Terby/orchestra (Cypres Records: CYP 1619, 1999)

Three Dances. I Solisti del Vento (Galaxy Studios/I Solisti del Vento: 99-01, 1999)

Passage à 5. Soledad (Virgin Classics: VC 45625, 2003)

L'Œuvre au noir. Frédéric Devreese/Orchestre National de Belgique (Barclay: 835 901)

Masque. James Watson/Desford Colliery Caterpillar Band (De Haske: DHM 3.002.3)

Suite No. 1. Beaux-Arts Brass Quintet (De Haske: DHR 5.005-3)

Het Sacrament. Frédéric Devreese/Brussels Philharmonic (Indisc: 3654)

Variations and Theme; Concerto (violin). Henry Raudales, violin; Frédéric Devreese/orchestra; Dirk Brossé/Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen (RG Productions: 87080)

La Partie d'échecs. (Virgin: 8040029)

DISCOGRAPHY (as conductor, excluding his own music)

Tombelène; Concerto No. 1 (violin); Concerto (cello) (Godfried Devreese). Guido De Neve, violin; Viviane Spanoghe, cello; Brussels Philharmonic (Marco Polo: 8.223680, 1994)

Symphonie No. 1 en la mineur, 'Symphonie gothique'; Poème héroïque; In memoriam (Godfried Devreese). Moscow Symphony Orchestra (Marco Polo: 8.223739, 1995)

Symphonie en sol majeur; Concerto (violin); Rhapsodie dahoméenne (August De Boeck). Guido De Neve, violin; Frédéric Devreese/deFilharmonie; Gerard Oskamp/deFilharmonie (Marco Polo: 8.223740, 1995)

Symfonie Nr. 6; Pygmalion (suite); Allegro symphonique; Vrolijke Ouverture (Marcel Poot). Moscow Symphony Orchestra (Marco Polo: 8.223775, 1996)

Plinius' Fontein; Symfonie Nr. 2; Symfonie Nr. 3; Mei Nacht (Arthur Meulemans). Moscow Symphony Orchestra (Marco Polo: 8.223776, 1996)

Moto perpetuo; Symfonie Nr. 3; Symfonie Nr. 5; Symfonie Nr. 7 (Marcel Poot). Moscow Symphony Orchestra (Marco Polo: 8.223805, 1996)

La Mer; Mélodies écossaises; Alvar; Ouverture symphonique No. 3 (Paul Gilson). Moscow Symphony Orchestra (Marco Polo: 8.223809, 1996)

Concerto No. 1 in C (piano); Concerto No. 2 in Bes (piano) (Arthur De Greef). André De Groote, piano; Moscow Symphony Orchestra (Marco Polo: 8.223810, 1996)

Symphony No. 1 in C; Mater Dolorosa (suite); Rossiniazata (Daniel Sternefeld). Moscow Symphony Orchestra (Marco Polo: 8.223813, 1996)

Concerto, Op. 43a (flute); Le Roi des aulnes; Concerto, Op. 43b (piano) (Peter Benoit). Gaby Pas-Van Riet, flute; Luc Devos, piano; deFilharmonie (Marco Polo: 8.223827, 1996)