They're Belgian. They're English. They're musicians. What more could you ask for?

Eugene Goossens (1845 - 1906)
A Belgian conductor, born in Bruges on February 25th, 1845. Initially admitted to the Brussels conservatory at the age of 14, where he studied the violin. He practiced as a conductor for several years until, in 1882, he was made the conductor of the Carl Rosa Opera company. He died in Liverpool in 1906.

And there, perhaps, it should have ended. But no!

Eugene Goossens (1867 - 1958)
Son of our original Goossens, and also a conductor. He was born in France (in Bordeaux) in 1867. Like his father, he was educated at the Brussels conservatory, and also at the Royal Academy of Music, in London. The simliarities continue - he too played the violin, for the Carl Rosa, and became conductor of the same in 1899. He died in London in 1958.

Not to dash ourselves upon the rocks of originality...

Sir Eugene Goossens (1893 - 1962)
Composer, conductor. Received his training at the Bruges Conservatory and the Academy of Music in London, of all places. He collborated with Sir Thomas Beecham until around 1921, when he formed his own orchestra to perform various works (including some of his own compositions).
He moved to America, where he worked as the conductor for the Rochester (NY) Philharmonic (1923-31) and for the Cincinnati Symphony (1931-46). The largest of his geographical moves was to Australia, where he became the conductor for the New South Wales Symphony orchestra, and director of the Conservatorium of Music. These two positions were resigned in 1956 in unknown cirucmstances. He was knighted in 1955, and died quietly seven years later. See also below

He had a brother too - a younger brother - and we all know what that means...

Leon Goossens (1897 - 1988)
English oboist, born in Liverpool, the place of his grandfather's death. He was the first oboist of the Queen's Hall opera and Covent Garden opera and also of the London Philharmonic after it was founded in 1932. He had a gleaming record as a solo and chamber musician.

Sir Eugene and Leon also had two sisters, Marie (b. 1894) and Sidonie (b. 1899), who were harpists, and apparently well-known.

EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it!
The compositions of Sir Eugene Goossens include, but are not limited to: Suite for flute, violin and harp (1914); Five Impressions of a Holiday for piano, flute or violin and cello (1914); Fantasy for string quartet (1915); Pastoral and Harlequinade for flute, oboe and piano (1924); Fantasyfor wind instruments (1924). He also wrote two operas, namely Judith and Don Juan de Manara; a ballet, L'Ecole en crinoline (1921); and a book Overture and Beginners published in 1951.

Cheers to the folks at Encyclopaedia Brittanica.

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