Devreese received his first musical training from his father, the composer-conductor Godfried Devreese (1893–1972). He studied composition with Marcel Poot and conducting with René Defossez in Brussels, composition with Ildebrando Pizzetti at the Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome from 1952 to 1955 and conducting with Hans Swarowsky at the Wiener Staatsakademie in 1955-56.
Frédéric Devreese was born June 2, 1929 Amsterdam.
Devreese received his first musical training from his father, Godfried Devreese (1893-1972), a composer and conductor. He studied composition with Marcel Poot and conducting with René Defossez in Brussels.
At the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome he studied composition with Ildebrando Pizzetti from 1952 to 1955, and conducting with Hans Swarowsky at the Wiener Staatsakademie in 1955-56.
Frédéric Devreese has conducted orchestras all over the world. He has made various recordings for Marco Polo’s series “Anthology of Flemish Music”. Devreese has great interest in young musicians, whom he wanted to stimulate and promote by initiatives such as Tenuto, a national music competition for young talent.
The works of Devreese are very diverse. He wrote four piano concertos, a violin concerto, a cello concerto, a symphony and chamber music, two operas, ballet suites and songs.
In the course of his career he evolved from an irrepressible vitalism with jazz effects to a more universal style, which has deeper expression and more balanced structure.
His ‘Piano Concerto No. 4’ was the imposed work for the prestigious Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition in 1983. His ‘Ostinati’ for alto saxophone, accordion and strings was the imposed work at the International Competition Adolphe Sax in Dinant in 1998.
However, he is most famous for his many memorable film scores. He wrote essentially for André Delvaux, ‘Un Soir, un Train’, ‘Benvenuta‘, ‘Rendez-vous à Bray’ and for Marion Hänsel ‘Noces Barbares’ and ‘Il Maestro’. His film music would exert a major influence on his other works.
Prestigious ensembles perform his works: Anima Eterna, Koninklijk Concertgebouw Orkest, Brussels Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Belgique, Symfonie Orkest Vlaanderen,Oxalis, Spiegel Quartet, Soledad, Spiritango. His works are recorded on labels such as Marco Polo, Naxos, Emi, Milan, Barclay, Cyprès,Virgin Classics, Beriato.
At the age of nineteen, in 1949, he received the Prize of the Town of Ostend for his ‘Piano Concerto No. 1‘. Due to this, he was national noticed and received scholarships to study in Rome and Vienna.
Devreese has received several national and international awards, including the Prix Italia for his TV opera ‘Willem van Saeftinghe’n (1964), the Georges Delerue Award for ‘La Partie d’échecs Yves Hanchar’ (1994) and twice the Joseph Plateau Music Award for ‘L’ oeuvre au Noir, André Delvaux’ (1988) and ‘Het Sacrament, Hugo Claus’ (1990). In 2006 he was given the Klara carriere award and he is Maestro Honoris Causa of the Conservatory of Antwerp.