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Eugene Goossens

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Eugene Goossens


Eugene Goossens (16 May 1893, Camden Town, London - 13 June 1962, Middlesex, England) was a British composer and conductor.

He studied music at the age of ten in Bruges, three years later in Liverpool, and in 1907 in London on a scholarship at the Royal College of Music under composer Charles Villiers Stanford. In 1921 he decided to make conducting his career and founded his own orchestra; with this ensemble he made a number of gramophone records for Edison-Bell's "Velvet Face" label, giving the British concert premiere of Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring in 1921 at the Queen's Hall with the composer present. At the invitation of George Eastman he was conductor of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra from 1923 to 1931, a position that also involved teaching at the Eastman School of Music. Goossens then spent nine years in Australia, from 1947 to 1956, where he conducted the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and other groups, and was the director of the NSW State Conservatorium of Music. He held these positions concurrently until March 1956, when he was forced to resign after a major public scandal involving pornography and witchcract, only a year after being knighted.

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