Guide to the Gui Mombaerts (1902-1993) Papers

Collection Title: Gui Mombaerts (1902-1993) Papers
Dates: 1922-1980
Identification: 19/3/1
Creator: Mombaerts, Gui (Guillaume), 1902-1993
Extent: 2 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: Gui (Guillaume) Mombaerts toured Europe as a pianist following his 1926 Prix Gunther win and 1927 finalist position in the International Chopin Piano Competition. Mombaert begin his career in the academy as piano instructor in 1923. He joined the faculty of Northwestern University's School of Music in 1948, and served as Ralph Votapek piano instructor in this position. The Gui Mombaerts Papers, spanning the years 1922-1980, comprise two boxes. They include biographical material, vitae, press releases, clippings, and interviews.
Acquisition Information: The papers were donated to the University Archives by Professor Gui Mombaerts in two installments on October 22, 1982 and December 9, 1982 as Accessions #82-149 and #82-165.
Processing Information: Thomas J. Dorst, December, 1982.
Separated Materials: In addition to the two boxes comprising the bulk the papers there are also twenty audiotapes (17 cassettes and 3 reels) of Mombaerts performing. Included are seventy separate pieces of classical music. For a complete list of the works performed see the Separations List, in the inventory file.
Conditions Governing Access: None.
Repository: Northwestern University Archives
Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
URL: http://www.library.northwestern.edu/archives
Email: archives@northwestern.edu
Phone: 847-491-3354

Biographical/Historical Information

Gui (Guillaume) Mombaerts was born on October 6, 1902 in Molenbeek St-Jean, Belgium. He toured Europe as a pianist following his 1926 Prix Gunther win and 1927 finalist position in the International Chopin Piano Competition. Mombaert begin his career in the academy as piano instructor in 1923. He joined the faculty of Northwestern University's School of Music in 1948, and served as Ralph Votapek piano instructor in this position.

Mombaerts began his study of the piano at the age of eight and in 1912 entered the solfège, or sight singing class, of the School of Music-Schaerbeek. Mombaerts subsequently entered the Royal Conservatory, Brussels, where he was awarded first prizes in solfège, 1916; harmony, 1918; piano with high distinction, 1921; chamber music with distinction, 1922 and keyboard harmony, 1923. He graduated from the Royal Conservatory in 1925 with a Diplôme de Virtuosité. While at the Royal Conservatory, Mombaerts studied with Arthur de Greef, a pupil of Franz Liszt.

Mombaerts won the Prix Gunther, a competition among Belgium's top pianists, in 1926. In 1927 he was a finalist in the first International Chopin Piano Competition which took place in Warsaw, Poland. Gui Mombaerts subsequently toured Europe as a soloist and as a member of the prestigious Belgian Piano-String Quartet.

Mombaerts began teaching the piano while he was still a student. He was a member of the faculty of the School of Music, Watermael-Boitsfort from 1923 to 1927, and was a Professor of Piano and Harmony at the Conservatory of Music, La Louviére from 1925 to 1940. He also served as Professor of Piano at the école Normale de Musique in Brussels, 1925-1927; Instructor of Piano at the School of Music, Molenbeek, 1934-1940 and Professor of Piano at the Chapelle de la Reine Elisabeth de Belgique, 1938-1940.

Following the German occupation of Belgium, Mombaerts and the other members of the Belgian Piano-String Quartet managed to escape to the United States in 1940, while on a tour of Portugal. Mombaerts served with the Free Belgian armed forces from 1943 to 1945. After the war he toured the United States and Canada with the noted violist William Primrose and appeared as a soloist with a number of symphony orchestras.

Mombaerts began his American teaching career as a Visiting Professor of Music at Colorado College from 1941 to 1943. After the war he was an instructor at Kansas State Teachers College in Pittsburg, Kansas, 1945-1946 and then Professor of Piano and Chamber Music at the University of Kansas in Kansas City, 1946-1948. In 1948 he joined the Northwestern faculty as an associate professor in the School of Music's piano department. In 1956 he was promoted to full professor, a rank he held until his retirement in 1971. From 1957 until 1971 he was chairman of the piano department. Among his students at Northwestern was Ralph Votapek, who won the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 1962.

Gui Mombaerts died on June 10th, 1993, in Evanston.

Scope and Content

The Gui Mombaerts Papers, spanning the years 1922-1980, comprise two boxes. They include biographical material, vitae, press releases, clippings, and interviews. Considerable additional biographical information is available in the newspaper reviews of Mombaerts' musical performances (Box 2, Folders 1-6). One folder of scattered correspondence consists primarily of notes of appreciation from individuals who attended concerts given by Mombaerts. A second folder of correspondence includes letters written by Mombaerts' students on the occasion of his retirement in 1971.

The bulk of the papers consist of concert programs and newspaper clippings of reviews of performances given by Mombaerts spanning the period 1922-1980. The programs are divided into sections announcing Mombaerts' European concerts and his North American concerts. Each group of programs is arranged chronologically. The programs are for both concerts given by Mombaerts as a soloist and with other musicians; most notably William Primrose and the Belgian Piano-String Quartet. The newspaper reviews are similarly divided into European and North American sections and are likewise arranged chronologically within each section. Both programs and reviews detailing his European concert career are in a variety of foreign languages, including French, German, Italian, and Polish. Mombaerts' translations of some of the reviews are included with the reviews.

Subjects

Personal Name

Mombaerts, Gui (Guillaume), 1902-1993

Subjects

Pianists

Piano teachers


Container List / Contents

  • Biographical MaterialBox 1, Folder 1
  • Correspondence, 1945-1979Box 1, Folder 2
  • Correspondence-Tributes from Students upon retirement, 1971Box 1, Folder 3
  • European Concert Programs, 1922-1939Box 1, Folder 4
  • European Concert Programs, 1922-1939Box 1, Folder 5
  • North American Concert Programs, 1939-1943Box 1, Folder 6
  • North American Concert Programs, 1939-1943Box 1, Folder 7
  • North American Concert Programs, 1939-1943Box 1, Folder 8
  • North American Concert Programs, 1939-1943Box 1, Folder 9
  • Concert Programs-MiscellaneousBox 1, Folder 10
  • European Reviews, Jul. 1922 Mar. 1932Box 2, Folder 1
  • European Reviews, Mar. 1932 Oct. 1938Box 2, Folder 2
  • European Reviews, Nov. 1938 Jul. 1948Box 2, Folder 3
  • North American Reviews, Oct.1939 Feb.1944Box 2, Folder 4
  • North American Reviews, Mar. 1944 Jul. 1956Box 2, Folder 5
  • North American Reviews, Oct.1960 Jan.1980Box 2, Folder 6