André Laporte

André Laporte

André Laporte (born 12 July 1931 in Oplinter, near Tienen in Flemish Brabant) is a Belgian composer.


Laporte studied music with Edgard de Laet, Flor Peeters, and Marinus De Jong at the Lemmens Institute in Mechelen, and musicology and philosophy at the Catholic University of Leuven from 1953 to 1957. From 1960 to 1964 he participated annually in the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in Darmstadt, where he came into contact with Pierre Boulez, Bruno Maderna, Luciano Berio, György Ligeti, and Mauricio Kagel, amongst others. In addition, he attended the Second and Third Cologne Courses for New Music organized by Karlheinz Stockhausen, in 1964–65 and 1965–66 where, in addition to Stockhausen, he had the opportunity of meeting the composers Henri Pousseur and Luciano Berio, as well as the conductor Michael Gielen.

Starting in 1953, Laporte taught music at a secondary school in Brussels. In 1963 he helped to establish the SPECTRA work group at the Institute for Psycho-Acoustic and Electronic Music (IPEM). In 1972, together with Herman Sabbe, he founded the Belgian section of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM), and has been its chairperson ever since. Beginning in 1974 he taught music theory at the Koninklijk Conservatorium (Brussels) where in 1988 he was appointed Professor of Composition, a post he held until 1996. From 1979–89 he worked at Belgian Radio and Television (BRT, now VRT), first as a music producer, then as a program coordinator, becoming in 1989 director of production for the BRT Philharmonic Orchestra, and from 1993 until 1996, director of ensembles.


Laporte’s earliest compositions, such as the 1954 Piano Sonata, are neoclassical in character but, beginning in the 1960s, his work was increasingly influenced by the Darmstadt avant garde. His style is eclectic, drawing on a range of pitch materials, for example, extending from traditional triads to clusters and microtones, with such contrasting material often alternating within a single piece (Sabbe 1972; Laporte 2003). Though he often employs twelve-tone technique, this is by no means an exclusive concern, and he often quotes music by earlier composers. For example, his opera "Das Schloss" (1981–85, based on Franz Kafka’s "The Castle"), quotes from Berg and Wagner, and the orchestral work "Nachtmuziek" (1970–71) contains citations from Mozart (Sabbe 1986).

Compositions (selective list)

*Piano Sonata (1954)
*"Fugue in the Phrygian Mode", for organ (1958)
*"Ostinato", for organ (1962)
*"Sequenza I", for solo clarinet (1964)
*"Sequenza II", for three clarinets and bass clarinet (1965)
*"Jubilus", for brass and percussion (1966)
*"Ascension", for piano (1967)
*"Ludus fragilis", for solo oboe (1967)
*"Story: Actus quasi-tragicus", for violin, viola, violoncello, and harpsichord (1967)
*"Inclinations", for solo flute (1968)
*"De Profundis", for a capella choir (1968)
*"Le morte chitarre" (text by Salvatore Quasimodo), for tenor, flute, and strings (1969)
*"Reflections", for solo clarinet (1970)
*"Nachtmuziek", for orchestra (1970–71)
*"La vita non è sogno", oratorio (texts by Salvatore Quasimodo and F.T. Marinetti), tenor, bass, narrator, chorus, and orchestra (1971–72)
*"Icarus' flight", for piano and twelve instruments (1977)
*"Transit", for 48 strings (1979)
*"Das Schloss", opera in 3 acts, libretto by Laporte, after M. Brod’s adaptation of Franz Kafka (1981–85)
*Two Suites from "Das Schloss", for orchestra (1987, 1988)
*"Fantasia-Rondino con tema reale", for violin and orchestra (1988)
*"De ekster op de galg", concert overture, after Breughel (1989)
*"Testamento de otoño" (text by Pablo Neruda), for baritone, harp, and strings (1990)
*"Winter pastorale", for four bassoons and contrabassoon (1991)
*"Seven Visions from the Apocalypse of Saint John, with an Introduction and Seven Trumpet-calls", for trumpet and organ (1993)
*"Passacaglia serena", for orchestra (1994)
*"Trois pièces", for piano (1997)
*"Toccataglia", for piano (2002)
*"Rieten-Ritueel", for 4 oboes, 2 oboes d'amore, 2 horns, bassoon, and contrabassoon (2005)


* [ CEBEDEM biography]
*Delaere, Marc, Yves Knockaert, and Herman Sabbe. 1998. "Nieuwe muziek in Vlaanderen". Bruges: Stichting Kunstboek. ISBN 90 74377 57 2
*Hooghe, Kamiel d’. 1998. "Een gesprek met André Laporte." "Orgelkunst" 21, no. 1 (March): 17–21.
*Laporte, André. 2003. "De complementariteit van tonale en atonale systemen." In "Onder hoogspanning: Muziekcultuur in de hedendaagse samenleving", edited by Marc Leman, 265–70. Gent: Rijksuniversiteit. ISBN 9054873566
*Plovie, Rony. 1998. "Ostinato per organo" van André Laporte," "Orgelkunst" 21, no. 1 (March): 22–25
*Sabbe, Herman. 1972. "De Vlaamse componist André Laporte: overzicht van een evolutie," "Mens en melodie" 27:133–36.
*Sabbe, Herman. 1986. "André Laporte: Mimus eclecticus." In the program book for "Das Schloss". Brussels, Théâtre La Monnaie (16 December): 21–36.

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