Bernier, René, Belgian composer; b. Saint- Gilles, March 10, 1905; d. Brussels, Sept. 8, 1984. He studied at the Brussels Cons, and with Gilson. With 7 other pupils of Gilson, he formed the Groupe des Synthetistes in 1925 with the aim of combining Classical forms with modern techniques. He was prof. of music history at the Mons Cons. (1945–70). In 1963 he was made a member of the Belgian Royal Academy.
dramatic: Ballet : Le Bal des ombres (1954); Symphonie en blanc (1961; based on the Sinfonietta for String Orch., 1957); Tanagras (1969). ORCH.: Mélopées et Rythmes (1932); Ode à une Madone (1938; rev. 1955); Le Tombeau devant l’Escaut, symphonie poem (1952); Notturno (1955); Bas-sonniere for Bassoon and Orch. (1956); Sinfonietta for Strings (1957); Homage à sax for Saxophone and Orch. (1958); Reverdies for Clarinet and Orch. (1960); Interludes (1966); Ménestraudie for Violin and Orch. (1970). CHAMBER: Sonata à deux for Flute and Harp (1939); Trio for Flute, Cello, and Harp (1942); piano pieces. VOCAL: Présages for Voice and Orch. (1942–46); Liturgies for Chorus (1968); Agnus Dei for Voice and Keyboard Instrument (1983; also for Chorus and String Orch.); solo songs.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire