views updated


Hasselmans, family of Belgian-French musicians:

(1) Josef H. Hasselmans , Belgian harpist, violinist, and conductor; b. Antwerp, 1814; d. 1902. He studied harp with Antoine Prumier, and also learned to play the violin. He was 1st violinist in the Antwerp theater orch., and subsequently its conductor. He then was conductor of the Strasbourg theater orch. and director of the Cons, (from 1854).

(2) Alphonse (Jean) Hasselmans , Belgian-born French harpist and composer, son of the preceding; b. Liège, March 5, 1845; d. Paris, May 19, 1912. He began harp studies with his father, then continued his training with Gottlieb Krüger in Stuttgart, Xavier Désargus fils in Brussels, and Ange-Conrad Prumier in Paris. He began his career as a harpist in the orch. of Brussels’s Théâtre de la Monnaie, then settled in Paris, where he attracted notice with a series of solo concerts in 1877. He subsequently was principal harpist in the orchs. of the Opéra, the Opéra-Comique, and the Cons. He was prof, of harp at the Cons, from 1884. He became a French citizen in 1903. Many composers wrote works for him. His own compositions include some 50 works and numerous transcriptions.

(3) Louis Hasselmans , French cellist and conductor, son of the preceding; b. Paris, July 15, 1878; d. San Juan, Puerto Rico, Dec. 27, 1957. He studied with Godard, Lavignac, and Massenet; also studied cello with Jules Delsart at the Paris Cons., winning the premier prix in 1893. He was a member of the Capet Quartet (1904–09). After making his conducting debut with the Lamoureux Orch. in 1905, he conducted at the Opéra-Comique (1909-11; 1919-22), the Montreal Opera and Marseilles Concerts Classiques (1911–13), and the Chicago Civic Opera (1918–19). Later he was a conductor at the Metropolitan Opera in N.Y. (1922–36). From 1936 to 1948 he taught at the La. State Univ. School of Music.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire