Male descendants of Eugène GOOSSENS

I.1    Eugène GOOSSENS, born on 25-02-1845 in Brugge, died on 30-12-1906 in Liverpool at the age of 61. Hij werd geboren in Brugge en studeerde aan het conservatorium in Brussel. Hij dirigeerde een aantal operacompagnieën door heel Europa, maar werd beroemd met de Carl Rosa Company in Engeland, waar hij werkte vanaf 1873. In 1882 dirigeerde hij de eerste Engelse opvoering van Richard Wagners Tannhuser in Liverpool.

   1.  Eugène GOOSSENS (see also II.1).

II.1    Eugène GOOSSENS, Dirigent en violist, born on 28-01-1867 in Bordeaux, died on 31-07-1958 at the age of 91. Hij werd geboren in Bordeaux en studeerde aan het conservatorium van Brussel en de Royal Academy of Music in Londen. Hij speelde bij zijn vader, Eugène Goossens, met de Carl Rosa Company. Hij promoveerde daar tot eerste dirigent in 1899.
Married 1892 to Annie Elizabeth Mary Agnes COOK, Zangeres, buried 1860 in Boston, MA, daughter of Thomas Aynsley COOK.
From this marriage:
   1.  Sir Eugene Aynsley GOOSSENS (see also III.1).
   2.  Marie Henriette GOOSSENS, Harpiste, born 1894 in London, died 1991.
   3.  Adolph A. GOOSSENS, Hoornist, born 1896 in London, died 1916.
   4.  CBE Léon Jean GOOSSENS (see also III.8).
   5.  Annie Sidonie (Sid) GOOSSENS, Harpiste, born on 19-10-1899 in Wallasey, died on 15-12-2004 in Reigate at the age of 105. Sidonie "Sid" Goossens (Liscard, Wallasey, 19 oktober 1899 - Reigate, 15 december 2004) was een van de bekendste Britse harpisten. Ze kwam voort uit de Goossens-familie die in de 19e eeuw vanuit België naar Engeland emigreerde.

Ze maakte haar professionele debuut in 1921 en ging meer dan een halve eeuw door met spelen, tot haar pensionering in 1980. Als kind wilde ze het liefst actrice worden, maar haar vader Eugène Goossens moedigde haar aan harp te gaan spelen. Toen ze in 1921 lid werd van het London Symphony Orchestra was ze er de enige vrouw. In 1923 werd ze de eerste harpist die op de radio speelde, gevolgd door het eerste televisieoptreden in 1936. Ze was vanaf de oprichting lid van het BBC Symphony Orchestra waarmee ze meer dan vijftig jaar zou blijven spelen (1930-1980). Haar afscheidsoptreden was in 1991 tijdens de Last Night of the Proms, toen ze Dame Gwyneth Jones begeleidde in het lied The Last Rose of Summer.

Sidonie Goossens is zus van de musicus, componist en dirigent Eugène Aynsley Goossens, die vele jaren in Australië doorbracht als directeur van het NSW Conservatorium of Music en chefdirigent van het Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

III.1    Sir Eugene Aynsley GOOSSENS, Engelse componist en dirigent, born on 26-05-1893 in Camden Town, Londen, died on 13-06-1962 in Hillingdon, Middlesex at the age of 69. Hillingdon Hospital, rheumatic heart disease and a haemorrhaging gastric ulcer. Buried in St. Pancras and Islington cemetery North London. GOOSSENS, Sir EUGENE AYNSLEY (1893-1962), conductor and composer, was born on 26 May 1893 at Kentish Town, London, eldest of five children of Eugene Goossens (d.1906), a violinist and opera conductor of Belgian birth, and his wife Annie Elizabeth Mary Agnes, a singer and daughter of the operatic basso Thomas Aynsley Cook. His paternal grandfather, another Eugene, had also been a violinist and conductor. Young Eugene was given music lessons at home before being sent in 1901 as a boarder to St Francis Xavier School at Bruges, Belgium; from 1903 he attended the Muziek-Conservatorium twice a week and was trained in violin and solfège. Having rejoined his family in 1906 at Liscard, Cheshire, he continued his studies at the Christian Brothers' Institute and at the Liverpool College of Music. He developed a particular passion for steam locomotives and ocean liners which he was to retain throughout his life.

In 1907 Goossens' violin playing gained him the Liverpool scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London. His professors were S. A. Rivarde (violin), J. St O. Dykes (piano), (Sir) Henry Wood (theory) and Sir Charles Stanford (composition). Although he was a nervous performer, Goossens quickly established a reputation for his stylish student compositions. He was awarded the Musicians' Company's silver medal in 1911 and in the following year was made an associate of the R.C.M. After graduation he worked as a violinist in theatre bands, in the Queen's Hall Orchestra and in various string quartets. He was rejected for military service in World War I on medical grounds; his brother Adolphè (a gifted horn player) perished on the Somme.

At the short-notice request of (Sir) Thomas Beecham, in 1916 Goossens conducted The Critic, an opera by Stanford. Goossens' success at his formal dbut encouraged Beecham to use him as his unofficial deputy, an arrangement which continued for almost a decade and which led to more prominent engagements directing Diaghilev's Les Ballets Russes and the Carl Rosa Opera Company at Covent Garden. At the register office, London, on 18 November 1919 he married Dorothy Millar, ne Dodsworth, a divorcee. They had three daughters before the marriage ended in divorce in 1928. In June 1921 Goossens had assembled a virtuoso orchestra under his own name to give concerts of contemporary music in London. These included a critically acclaimed first concert performance in England of Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps, with the approving composer in attendance. The Evening News referred to the young conductor as 'London's Music Wizard'.

Invited by George Eastman, the 'Kodak King', in 1923 Goossens became conductor of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in New York State, a post which also involved teaching at the Eastman School of Music. The position was seasonal, allowing him to conduct the great orchestras of Philadelphia, Boston, New York and San Francisco, and he returned to Europe each summer for additional appearances, including the premières of his major compositions. On 5 January 1930 at North Congregational Church, Detroit, Michigan, he married Janet Lewis, fourteen years his junior. They were to have two daughters before being divorced in 1944.

In 1931 Goossens succeeded Fritz Reiner as permanent conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, a post he retained for the next fifteen years. Appointed to the Lgion d'honneur in 1934, he was by then a recognized figure in international music. As a composer he was placed alongside his British contemporaries (Sir) William Walton, (Sir) Arthur Bliss and Ralph Vaughan Williams. Goossens was happy to exploit his authority as a conductor to champion new music in his programmes. A tall, handsome and immaculately dressed figure with thinning, swept-back hair, he conducted in the grand charismatic manner with a long baton and large beat. His management of orchestras was firm, but always based on an immense practical knowledge of instrumental technique and on his prodigiously detailed memory of a vast, wide-ranging repertoire.

On 18 April 1946 at Paris, Kentucky, Goossens secretly married an American divorcee Marjorie Foulkrod, ne Fetter (b.1912). After a well-received tour of Australia later that year, during which he conducted the State orchestras, Goossens was invited by (Sir) Charles Moses, the general manager of the Australian Broadcasting Commission, to become the first permanent conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he was offered the directorship of the New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music. When he accepted the concurrent posts, the two salaries gave him a combined income greater than that of the prime minister.

Goossens returned to Australia in July 1947 and set about his new tasks with characteristic energy and decisiveness. Having vowed, on arrival, to make the S.S.O. 'one of the six best orchestras in the world', he soon jettisoned its weaker members and engaged or promoted younger players. The orchestra responded to his deep musicianship and skill as a trainer; the public (and critical) response was enthusiastic to the point where subscriptions soon doubled, and the A.B.C. was able to attract soloists and conductors of the first rank to perform with its orchestras. Goossens introduced Australian audiences to more than fifty major works which had previously been ignored or considered too challenging. He also championed local composition, giving many first performances, among them the world première (1946) of John Antill's Corroboree.

At the conservatorium, Goossens insisted on an immediate lift in standards, failed whole classes, dismissed staff, and traded on his reputation in Europe to recruit new teachers. He disbanded the mediocre conservatorium choir, conducted the senior orchestra himself and staged a series of ambitious opera performances, including his own Judith for which he selected a little-known Sydney stenographer, (Dame) Joan Sutherland, to make her operatic dbut in the title role. Whenever possible, he taught the diploma classes in harmony, counterpoint and composition; his students included Richard Bonynge, Maureen Jones, Brenton Langbein, Geoffrey Parsons and Malcolm Williamson. Despite his rigorous, uncompromising style of teaching, Goossens was an encourager, unfailingly generous with letters of introduction for talented young musicians who wished to further their studies abroad.

By the early 1950s Goossens had established himself as a major local celebrity: he was featured conducting Tchaikovsky in the newsreels; his free outdoor concerts attracted crowds of 25,000; and his tireless agitation for a performing arts centre in Sydney helped to push the State government into planning the Sydney Opera House on Bennelong Point, the spectacular site that Goossens had first suggested. He directed a series of historic sessions for EMI (Australia) Pty Ltd which produced the first commercial recordings of the S.S.O. Notwithstanding a punishing schedule, he took on the presidency of the State council of the Federated Music Clubs of Australia, published the first volume of his projected autobiography, Overture and Beginners (London, 1951), and continued to compose and to pursue his hobbies of photography and painting. In 1955 he was knighted.

At a more private level, a lifelong interest in pantheism and the occult led Goossens into friendship (from 1952) with the notorious Sydney 'witch' and artist Rosaleen Norton and her lover, the poet Gavin Greenlees. He frequently visited their flat at Kings Cross. This rather indiscreet association came to the notice of the police in October 1955 and an undercover vice-squad investigation secured a bundle of letters from Goossens to Norton which the police considered sufficiently incriminating to support a charge of 'Scandalous Conduct'. When Goossens returned to Sydney on 9 March 1956 from an extended European tour, his baggage was searched at the airport by customs officers and found to contain more than one thousand indecent photographs, as well as books, masks, incense and a quantity of strip film. He was taken to police headquarters where he made a signed statement.

At the prosecution in Sydney on 22 March he was too ill to appear. His counsel J. W. Shand pleaded guilty, on his behalf, to having imported prohibited goods. Moses gave evidence as to his good character, but Goossens received the maximum fine, 100. He immediately resigned both his posts and returned to England two months later. The Sydney Morning Herald in its editorial commented: 'The end of his career has been pitiful beyond measure'.

Goossens was briefly reunited with his wife on his return to Europe in May, but they were soon living apart. In failing health, he took a variety of rented accommodation in London, including a room at the Colonnade Hotel. At his invitation, he was joined by a young pianist from Adelaide, Linda Main, who was his support and companion for the remainder of his life. News of the scandal surrounding his departure from Australia had reached Europe and he struggled to find regular work as a concert conductor. When Bonynge visited Goossens he found him 'absolutely destroyed. It was tragic'. Nevertheless, the British Broadcasting Corporation and several gramophone companies remembered his particular skill with complex, unfamiliar scores and engaged him to direct a series of significant studio recordings.

Taken ill in Switzerland while visiting two of his daughters, Goossens died of rheumatic heart disease and a haemorrhaging gastric ulcer on 13 June 1962 in Hillingdon Hospital, Middlesex, on the night of his return to London; he was buried with Catholic rites in St Pancras and Islington cemetery, North London. A substantial, but somewhat cool, obituary in The Times described his conducting as 'urbane, civilised and immensely professional'. His five daughters survived him. Goossens left his residual estate 'including all & every copyrights and royalties lawfully arising from my works to my faithful companion and assistant Miss Linda Main'.

Although he was a highly skilled and prolific composer, Goossens' music has been criticized as 'lacking in sap' and exhibiting 'singular unmemorability'. His works were much performed between the wars but his output has fallen into neglect and its often severe technical demands tend to resist revival. Perhaps because he spent so much time conducting the music of more talented contemporaries, his own compositions display impressive eclecticism without finding a distinctive personal voice. The restless quality in his larger works tends to undermine the impact of their striking thematic and formal design. Goossens' early mastery of orchestral colour-the scherzo Tam o'Shanter (1916) and Sinfonietta (1922)-derived from Richard Strauss and Claude Debussy, while his chamber pieces echo the French musical impressionists of the late nineteenth century. His most important and distinctive works are the Symphony No.1 (1940) and Symphony No.2 (1942-44), two operas, Judith (1929) and Don Juan de Manara (1935), both to librettos by Arnold Bennett, and the Concerto for Oboe (1927), composed for his brother Lon. In 1991 the A.B.C. named a new studio in Sydney after Goossens in belated recognition of his contribution to music in Australia.

Select Bibliography
R. Norton and G. Greenlees, The Art of Rosaleen Norton (Syd, 1952); D. Ewan (ed), Musicians Since 1900 (NY, 1978); S. Sadie (ed), The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (Lond, 1980); P. Sametz, Play On! (Syd, 1992); C. Rosen, The Goossens (Lond, 1993); Current Biography (New York), 1945; People (Sydney), 20 June 1951, p 11; Sydney Morning Herald, 27 May, 14, 19 Aug, 19 Nov 1946, 6 May 1947, 17 Apr 1949, 20 Nov 1954, 15, 23 Mar, 12 Apr 1956, 14 June 1962, 26 Oct 1973; Times (London), 14 June 1962; New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music, Sydney, Archives; Muziek-Conservatorium of Bruges, Belgium, Archives; Royal College of Music, London, Archives; Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York Archives; ABC Document Archive, Sydney; Attorney-General's Dept of New South Wales Archives; John Fairfax Group Pty Ltd, Sydney, Archives; transcripts of interviews (1992) with Dame Sidonie Goossens, Det Sgt H. Trevennar, Mr Richard Bonynge and Dame Joan Sutherland (held by author); family information. More on the resources

Author: David Salter

Married (1) 1919, divorced 1928 from Dorothy DODSWORTH, born 1919, died 1928.
Married (2) 1930, divorced 1944 from Janet LEWIS, born 1930, died 1944.
Married (3) at the age of 52 on 18-04-1946 to Marjorie Fetter FOULKROD, born 1946, died 1962.
Married (4) to Rosaleen NORTON. Mistress, extramarital affair 1950s.
From the first marriage:
   1.  ? GOOSSENS.
   2.  ? GOOSSENS.
   3.  ? GOOSSENS.
From the second marriage:
   4.  ? GOOSSENS.
   5.  ? GOOSSENS.

III.8    CBE Léon Jean GOOSSENS, Hoboïst, born on 12-06-1897 in Liverpool, died on 13-02-1988 in Tunbridge Wells at the age of 90. Lon Jean Goossens CBE, FRCM (12 June 1897 - 13 February 1988) was a British oboist.

He was born in Liverpool and studied at the Royal College of Music. His father was violinist and conductor Eugène Goossens, his brother the conductor and composer Eugene Aynsley Goossens and his sister the harpist Sidonie Goossens.

During the early and middle parts of the 20th century, he was considered the premier oboe player in the world[citation needed]. He joined the Queen's Hall Orchestra (conducted by Henry Wood) at the age of 15 and was later (1932) engaged by Sir Thomas Beecham for the newly-founded London Philharmonic Orchestra, but he also enjoyed a rich solo and chamber-music career. He became famous for a unique pleasing sound no other oboist could match[citation needed]. Oboists of the past had tended to be divided between the French school (elegant but thin and reedy in tone) and the German (full and rounded but rather clumsy, with little or no vibrato), but Goossens brought together the best qualities of both styles.

Goossens commissioned a number of works for the oboe from such distinguished composers as Sir Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Rutland Boughton and collaborated extensively with other prominent soloists such as Yehudi Menuhin. Amongst his many pupils were the oboists Evelyn Barbirolli, Joy Boughton, daughter of Rutland Boughton, and Peter Graeme, oboist of the Melos Ensemble.[1]

He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1950 and made a Fellow of the Royal College of Music in 1962.
Married (1) 1926 to Fay YEATMAN.
Married (2) at the age of 36 on 08-08-1933 to Lucie Leslie (Leslie) BURROWES, 25 years old, Dancer, born on 16-04-1908, died 08-1985. The first English dancer to study at Mary Wigman's school in Dresden.
Studied modern dance with Mary Wigman in Germany. Daughter of Alec BURROWES, Brigadier, and Ernestine Lucie MACCORMAC.
From the first marriage:
   1.  Benedicta GOOSSENS.
From the second marriage:
   2.  Corinne GOOSSENS.
   3.  Jennie GOOSSENS, Actress.

Patrick Goosen

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