Jan van Gilse
Jan van Gilse
From 1909 to 1911, he studied in Italy. In 1901, Van Gilse received the Beethoven-Haus Prize in Bonn for his (First) Symphony in F major; In 1906, the Michael Beer Prize was awarded to him for his Third Symphony, 'Erhebung' ('Resurrection'; for soprano solo and orchestra). In addition to composing, Van Gilse soon developed an interest in conducting. He started out with the Bremen opera, a post which was followed by appointments in Munich and Amsterdam. After the breakout of the First World War made travel difficult, he moved back to the Netherlands.
From 1917 until 1922, he was the conductor of the Utrecht Municipal Orchestra (Utrechtsch Stedelijk Orkest). In 1921, Van Gilse resigned the post after a conflict with the orchestra board of directors. Van Gilse had been attacked for some time by the composer and music critic Willem Pijper in the daily Utrechts Dagblad, attacks that grew in viciousness as time progressed. Van Gilse's request that Pijper be denied access to concerts was stalled for such a time that he lost faith and resigned. The board subsequently refused him a farewell concert. Eight years later Van Gilse put his Utrecht experiences to paper.
The autobiography that materialised was sizeable, and contained almost 350,000 words. However, because he didn't spare anyone or anything (including himself), Van Gilse doubted whether the manuscript would ever see the light of day. It was eventually edited and published in 2003. During World War II, Van Gilse became actively involved with the resistance movement against the German occupation of the Netherlands. Both his sons, who were also resistance fighters, were killed by the occupiers before Van Gilse himself succumbed (probably to pneumonia) in the autumn of 1944.
To protect his shelter, he was buried in an unmarked grave outside the village of Oegstgeest. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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