Poot, Marcel , remarkable Belgian composer; b. Vilvoorde, near Brussels, May 7, 1901; d. Brussels, June 12, 1988. He received his first musical training from his father, then continued his studies with Gilson (1916), at the Brussels Cons. with Sevenants, Lunssens, and de Greef (1916–20), and at the Royal Flemish Cons. of Antwerp with Lodewijk Mortelmans (1921–23). In 1925, with 7 other Gilson pupils, he founded the Groupe des Synthétistes, dedicated to propaganda of new musical ideas (the group disbanded in 1930). Also in 1925, Poot was co-founder, with Gilson, of La Revue Musicale Belge, to which he contributed until its dissolution in 1938. He was on the staff of the Brussels Cons. from 1938 to 1966, and was its director from 1949 until his retirement. The most striking element of his music is its rhythmic vivacity; his harmony is well within the tonal sphere. His Piano Concerto (1959) was a compulsory work for finalists of 1960 Queen Elisabeth piano competition, won by Malcolm Frager.
DRAMATIC: Chamber Opera: Moretus (1943; Brussels, 1944). Ballet : Paris et les 3 divines (1933); Camera (1937); Pygmalion (1952). Also incidental music. ORCH .: Variations en forme de danses (1923); Chariot, 3 sketches inspired by Charlie Chaplin films (1926); Rondo for Piano and Small Orch. (1928); Capriccio for Oboe and Orch. (1928); 7 syms. (1929; Triptyque symphonique, 1938; 1952; 1970; 1974; 1978; 1982); Poème de l’espace, symphonic poem inspired by Lindbergh’s flight (1929; Liège, Sept. 4, 1930); Jazz Music (1930; Brussels, Feb. 21, 1932); Allegro symphonique (1935); Fantaisie rythmique (1936); Ballade for String Quartet and Orch. (1937); Légende épique for Piano and Orch. (1938); Suite for Small Orch. (1940); Ballade for Clarinet and Orch. (1941); Concertstück for Cello and Orch. (1942); Fantasia (1944); Sinfonietta (Chicago, Oct. 22, 1946); Mouvement symphonique for Wind Orch. (1946); Divertimento for Small Orch. (1952); Mouvement perpétuel (1953); Ballade for Violin and Orch. (1955); Piano Concerto (1959; Brussels, May 25, 1960); 2 mouvements symphoniques (1960); Concertstück for Violin and Orch. (1962); Concerto Grosso for 11 Strings (1962); Music for Strings (1963); Concerto Grosso for Piano Quartet and Orch. (1969); Trumpet Concerto (1973); Alto Saxophone Concerto (1980). CHAMBER : Piano Quartet (1932); 3 Pièces en trio for Piano Trio (1935); Scherzo for 4 Saxophones (1941); Divertimento for Oboe, Clarinet, and Bassoon (1942); Octet for Winds and Strings (1948); String Quartet (1952); Ballade for Oboe, Clarinet, and Bassoon (1954); Fantaisie for 6 Clarinets (1955); Concertino for Wind Quintet (1958); Musique for Wind Quintet (1964); Legende for 4 Clarinets or Saxophones (1967); Quartet for 4 Horns (1969); Mosaïque for 8 Winds (1969); Musique de chambre for Piano Trio (1971); several Ballades and other pieces for Solo Instruments with Piano; solo piano pieces. VOCAL : 2 oratorios: Le Dit du routier (1943) and Icare (1945); choral works; songs.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire