François Glorieux, well-versed in music
He went around the musical block many times in his long life: composer, conductor, concert pianist, music educator and teacher. Classical, pop, world music, jazz, improvisation, expressionism ... François Glorieux felt at home in all those genres.
On 27 August 1932, a musical jack-of-all-trades, François Glorieux, was born in Kortrijk. Even as a child, he crawled behind the piano, improvised, and his first compositions saw the light of day. He became completely captivated by the instrument. In 1949, barely 17, he enrolled in the Royal Conservatory of Ghent to study music. His mastery on the piano and his talent for improvisation were soon recognised and praised, nationally and internationally. His career had been launched.
The world got to know François Glorieux in his varied musical capacities. As a piano soloist with orchestras in Germany, France and Switzerland, as a sought-after composer of music for brass and percussion in addition to piano, as a conductor of many orchestras in the United States, the United Kingdom - including the BBC Radio Orchestra - , Japan, Ukraine and Germany, and as an educator. He taught chamber music, gave guest lectures, founded several ensembles, collaborated with numerous famous choreographers and dance companies, such as Maurice Béjart and his Ballet of the XXth Century, the National Orchestra of Belgium, the Royal Ballet of Flanders, the Nederlands Dans Theater from The Hague, and the National Ballet from Amsterdam.
In 1988, François Glorieux met none other than Michael Jackson in Los Angeles for what was initially to be a two-minute chat. They ended up talking about music for no less than two hours. Michael Jackson asked Glorieux to adapt 12 of his hits for symphonic orchestra. One of those is the stunning Liberian Girl. The result was pure musical enjoyment for the audience and an enduring fanship of The King of Pop.
The man who composed over 300 works and gave more than 6,000 concerts died at home in Antwerp on 23 September 2023, aged 91. He still played music every day.