born on 7/5/1901 in Vilvoorde, Vlaanderen, Belgium
died on 12/6/1988 in Bruxelles, Belgium
Marcel Poot (7 May 1901 in Vilvoorde, Belgium – 12 June 1988 in Brussels) was a Belgian composer, professor, and musician. His father, Jan Poot, was Director of the Vlaamse Schouwburg (Flemish Theater) in Brussels.
At the Brussels Conservatory, Poot studied organ with Gerard Nauwelaarts, and composition and instrumentation with Arthur De Greef, José Sevenans, Martin Lunssens, Lodewijk Mortelmans, and Paul Gilson. He also attended the Antwerp Conservatory and furthered his education with Paul Dukas at the École Normale de Musique de Paris.
After completing his studies, Poot worked firstly as a music teacher, reviewer, and freelance composer. In 1925, he and several other former students of Gilson's formed a group of musicians called Les Synthétistes, who styled themselves as a Belgian equivalent of the The Mighty Five in Russia and Les Six in France. Through the group, they hoped to combine their strength and inject dynamism into an otherwise conservative Belgian musical scene, through the composition of solid contemporary pieces. Other composers who joined Les Synthétistes were René Bernier, Francis de Bourguignon, Théo de Joncker, Maurice Schoemaker, Jules Strens, and Robert Otlet.
Poot was an active music commentator for fifteen years, finding a principal outlet in the magazine he co-founded with Gilson, La Revue Musicale belge. He also contributed to Le Peuple.
In 1934, Poot seemed to achieve fame outside Belgium almost spontaneously after completing his Ouverture joyeuse (Joyful Overture), a work dedicated to his former teacher Paul Dukas. He also composed a substantial wind and brass oeuvre which is often played and performed by students and professionals alike.
In 1939, Poot was appointed a Lecturer at the Brussels Conservatory, and later became Professor of counterpoint and harmony, before succeeding Léon Jongen as Director in 1949 and holding the post until 1966.
In 1960, Poot founded the Union of Belgian Composers and became its first president.
From 1963 to 1980, Poot chaired the jury of the international Queen Elisabeth Music Competition and wrote several commissioned works to mark the occasion, one of them being the "Concerto for Piano & Orchestra." originally composed in 1959. It is rarely performed but recently received an American performance in 2007 by the Valley Symphony Orchestra (LAVC) and pianist Neil Galanter.
He also served as the director of the Musikkapelle Königin Elisabeth between 1969 and 1976. He was elected to the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts.
- Valley Symphony Orchestra 07-08 season First Subscription Concert, Neil Galanter, guest pianist. Calendar listing. Zvents.com. Retrieved on 2007-10-16.
- Pieters, Francis. A Portrait of Marcel Poot sleeve notes (in English).
- Biography and List of Selected Works from the Belgian Documentation Centre for Contemporary Music (in English).