Benoit, Peter (Leonard Leopold)
- Marie-Thérèse Buyssens
(b Harlebeke, Aug 17, 1834; d Antwerp, March 8, 1901). Belgian composer, conductor and teacher. He received his first music lessons from his father and then studied the piano and the organ with Carlier, verger and organist at Desselgem. In 1851 he became a pupil at the Brussels Conservatory, where he took courses in piano, harmony, counterpoint, fugue and composition, winning first prize in harmony and composition in 1854. His chief teacher was the director, François-Joseph Fétis. Having completed his studies at the conservatory, he continued to study with C.-L. Hanssens, director of the Théâtre de la Monnaie. During these years Benoit was in severe financial straits and was obliged to take a post as additional triangle player with the Monnaie orchestra. In 1856 he became conductor of the Park Theatre at Brussels. He won the Belgian Prix de Rome in 1857 with his cantata Le meurtre d'Abel...