(b Vergnies, 1734; d Passy, 1829).
Belg. composer. Boy chorister Antwerp Cath. Went to Paris 1751 where he was helped by Rameau for whose patron's private band he comp. first Fr. syms. from 1754. Also comp. str. qts. for Prince de Condé, whose service he entered 1762–9. Dir., Concert Spirituel 1773–7. 2nd cond. at Opéra 1780–2. Organized and dir. École Royale de Chant 1784–95, when it became the Nat. Cons. Prof. of comp. at Paris Cons. 1795–1815. Comp. about 30 syms., 20 operas, church and choral mus. (incl. many pieces in favour of the Revolution), and ballets. His Te Deum (1790) anticipated Berlioz in requiring 1,200 singers and 300 wind instrs. A bold innovator in orchestration.