Category talk:Mailly, Alphonse

Belgian organist and composer. Studied at the Royal Music Conservatory in Brussels with Lados (solfeggio), Bosselet (harmony), Michelot (piano), Girschner and Lemmens (organ). Later studies in composition and orchestration. He received first prizes in solfeggio (1847), piano (1850) and organ (1854).

Upon the studies he became pianist and accompanist in the Monnaie opera and organist in the church Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-ter-Finisterrae in Brussels, which since 1848 possessed a Loret-organ. He soon gained fame as a concert organist. He also participated in various performances of the sacred tetralogy by his fellow student and friend Peter Benoit. He built up an international career as organ vituoso. Upon a concert in Paris March 8 1858 Berlioz characterized him as 'one of the most knowing vituoses which the modern art of organ has produced'. Later he played ao. in London and Amsterdam.

1861 Mailly became piano teacher at the Music Conservatory in Brussels and four years later he succeeded his own teacher Jaak-Nikolaas Lemmens as organ teacher, partly contrary to expectation since Lemmens's assistent, Jozef Tilborghs was considered front-runner as the new teacher. Mailly was an excellent teacher who educated students like Léon Dubois, August De Boeck, Adolphe Wouters, Léon Jadin and Alfred Mahy.

1869 he became organist at the Carmelit church in Brussels where many people attend the mass because of his excellent organ playing.

Mailly continued playing concerts all his lifetime. He was also an appreciated consultant on organ building. Thus he was deeply involved in the construction of the Cavaillé-Coll-organ for the concert hall of the Brussels music conservatory.

1903 he retired as organ teacher and was followed by Alphonse Desmet.

Sonata no. 1 for organ became one of Mailly's most famous compositions which gained popularity ao. in England. Besides music for organ, harmonium and piano he also composed chamber music.

Source: Jan Dewilde: Alphonse Mailly quoted from Studiecentrum voor Vlaamse Muziek accessed 20 March 2008. Translated to English by Christian Mondrup