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Lucien Posman

Lucien Posman

A self-proclaimed post-mannerist. Behind the apparent simplicity of his works lurks a rigorous composition system. He knows how to alleviate gravity when appropriate with a healthy dose of perspective and humour.

"As a composer I have always been questing for partial opportunities to synthesize modern and postmodern thinking as related to music. This translates into a communicative rhetoric on the fault line between tradition and innovation. This rhetoric is based on a balance between anti-rationalism and rationalism, for the way the music material is handled, and an emancipatory way of dealing with the music parameters. I prefer the explicit use of a perceptible metrical pulsation and avoidance of hyperkinetic rhythms; often non-Western organising systems are used. As far as the use of texts is concerned I usually opt for supporting the contents of the meaning. And last but not least there is the goal to create an experience of tonality in a non-tonal harmonic context." (Lucien Posman)

Lucien Posman was born on 22 March 1952 in Eeklo. He completed his higher music studies at the Royal Conservatories of Ghent and Antwerp. In Ghent he earned first prizes in solfège, harmony, music history and composition (under Roland Coryn), as well as a teaching certificate for solfège (first and second cycle). In Antwerp he received a first prize for fugue and counterpoint in the class of Nini Bulterys. He also studied music analysis, piano and voice.
Posman is a teacher at the Hogeschool Gent in the department of composition, music theory and teacher training. He is also a teacher at the MAGO (music academy) in Ghent. He was co-founder, in 1993, of the cultural organisations De Verenigde Cultuurfabrieken and De Rode Pomp. At present, Lucien Posman is artistic director of De Rode Pomp. He was also involved in setting up the ECCG (European Composers' Collective, Ghent region). In addition, he is on the editorial board of the periodical, Nieuwe Vlaamse Muziekrevue. As an assistant on the Musical Days of Flanders, he organises and programs small festivals abroad (St Petersburg, New York, Bratislava) which aim to confront Belgian works with compositions from the repertoire of other lands.
Posman's compositions have been performed in such festivals as De Week van de Hedendaagse Muziek in Ghent, the Belgian-Dutch Music Days in Maastricht, Muzicii Contemporane Belgiene in Bucharest, Ars Musica, the Flanders Festival, and the Musica Nova Festival in Sao Paulo. Various of his compositions have been recorded for CD, and several programmes have been devoted to him and his works on such radio networks as VRT Radio 3 (the Flemish classical music programme), Radio Moscow, and the Dutch, Brazilian (Sao Paulo) and Romanian services. For his song cycle, Songs of Experience (five songs on poems by William Blake, for middle voice and piano) Lucien Posman received the Muizelhuis Prize for chamber music in 1988.

Selective bibliography
- B. ANGELET, Vlaanderen leeft in Hedendaagse Muziek. Buckinx, Nuyts en Posman, in Arcade, 2/2, 1988, p. 10-15
- M. ANSEEUW, Tussen wens en werkelijkheid. Lief en leed van 10 jonge komponisten in Vlaanderen, in Tijdschrift van De Nieuwe Muziekgroep, 10, september 1986, p. 25-37
- D. BLOCKEEL, Lucien Posman. Van een tovenaar die wielen deed draaien en hoe hij verder denkt te zullen rijden, in Ambrozijn, 10/2, 1992-1993, p. 19-33
- B. BUCKINX, De Kleine Pomo of de Muziekgeschiedenis van het Postmodernisme, Peer, 1994, p. 21
- A. BUFFEL, ... ontmoet de componist Lucien Posman, in Vlaams Fluitistentijdschrift, 5/4, juni 1998, p. 15-18
- Y. KNOCKAERT, art. Lucien Posman, in M. DELAERE, Y. KNOCKAERT en H. SABBE, Nieuwe Muziek in Vlaanderen, Brugge, 1998, p. 151-154
- M. DE SMET, Kagel en Posman in Gent, in Muziek, een privilege, 1/6, februari 1992, p. 26
- M. DE SMET, Lucien Posman. 5 songs of Experience, in Tijdschrift van De Nieuwe Muziekgroep, 20, maart 1989, p. 48-51
- Y. KNOCKAERT, Het Postmodernisme in Vlaanderen, in Vlaanderen, 44/5, november-december 1995, p. 360-365
- Y. KNOCKAERT, Hilarische ernst. Vlaamse componisten (23). Lucien Posman, in Kunst & Cultuur, 27/12, december 1994, p. 44-45
- Y. KNOCKAERT, Le conte de l’Étude Modeste, in Contemporary Music in Flanders II. Flemish Piano Music since 1950, uitg. dr. M. DELAERE en J. COMPEERS, Leuven, 2005, p.33-34
- N. VERSCHOORE, Lettres de Flandre Lucien Posman , in La revue Générale, ed. Duculot Louvain-La-Neuve, jg 136 nr. 6; 2001, p. 82-84
- Y. SENDEN, Herdenkingsjaar 2002 Lucien Posman, in Even aanzoemen, 30/4-5, oktober 2002, p. 4-5
- S. CLAEYS, Een gelauwerde Lucien Posman, Kunsttijdschrift Vlaanderen, jg. 51, nr. 293, 2002, p. 244-246

©2001 Klaartje Gonnissen, for Flanders Music Centre and MATRIX
©2005 Klaas Coulembier, for Flanders Music Centre and MATRIX (update)

2004 Chairman of ComAV, the Flanders Composers Archipelago.

2003 Head of the Faculty of Music, University College Ghent.

1995 Professor of composition and didactics music theory at the University College Ghent, Faculty of Music.

1993 Artistic director of De Rode Pomp (concert venue and label)

1992 Degree in composition at the Conservatory of Ghent (in the class of Roland Coryn).

1978 - 1983 Degrees in music theory (music history, harmony, counterpoint, fugue) at the Conservatories of Ghent and Antwerp.


Key works:AN DIE PARZEN (2003) for mixed choir & piano

(T: F.Hölderlin).

THE BOOK OF THEL (2001) cantata for mezzo, fl, cl, mar, glsp, vl, vla, vlc & pn, (T: W.Blake).

FOR GILBERTO MENDES (8 = 0 = 80) sextet fl,, pn, vl, vla, vlc (2002).

THE BOOK OF LOS(2000) cantata for soprano, flute, piano and mixed choir (T: W.Blake).

WELCOME STRANGER TO THIS PLACE(1999) Christmas cantata for soprano, mezzo, tenor, mixed choir, 2 fl.,2 ob., 2 bn & four-hands piano (T: W.Blake).

GEEN NOODT, SAPPER LOODT! (1997) for flute and string quartet.

10 ‘SONGS OF EXPERIENCE’ (1997) for mixed choir (T: W.Blake).

DE LAATSTE HOOIVRACHT(1994) for fl.,, mar., pn, vl, vla., vlc.

HERCULESHACHÉ, THE ADVENTURE OF A PROFESSOR! (1991) opera in three acts for 8 vocal soloists and instrumental ensemble (Libretto: André Posman).

WHEEL WITHIN WHEEL… (1987) concerto-cantata for soprano, trombone & instrumental ensemble (T: W.Blake).


Discography (selection)

Flanders Arts Institute

Expertise centre for performing arts, music and visual arts.