Adolphe Samuel
Adolphe-Abraham Samuel was a Belgian
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 music critic, conductor
Conducting is the art of directing a musical performance by way of visible gestures. The primary duties of the conductor are to unify performers, set the tempo, execute clear preparations and beats, and to listen critically and shape the sound of the ensemble...

 and composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

. Samuel was Jewish
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

, and late in life converted to Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

. He spent much time in Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

 where he was a pupil of François-Joseph Fétis
François-Joseph Fétis
François-Joseph Fétis was a Belgian musicologist, composer, critic and teacher. He was one of the most influential music critics of the 19th century, and his enormous compilation of biographical data in the Biographie universelle des musiciens remains an important source of information today...

, and where he was a friend of Hector Berlioz
Hector Berlioz
Hector Berlioz was a French Romantic composer, best known for his compositions Symphonie fantastique and Grande messe des morts . Berlioz made significant contributions to the modern orchestra with his Treatise on Instrumentation. He specified huge orchestral forces for some of his works; as a...

. He also studied with Joseph Daussoigne-Méhul
Joseph Daussoigne-Méhul
Joseph Daussoigne-Méhul was a French composer and music educator. He served as the first director of the Royal Conservatory of Liège from 1826-1862; having been appointed to that post by William I of the Netherlands. In addition to his duties as director, he also taught courses in harmony and...

 at the Royal Conservatory of Liège.

Samuel, who won the Belgian Prix de Rome in 1845, composed seven symphonies (1846–94), five operas (1845–1854) and a cantata for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the coronation of Belgium's first king (1856, L'union fait la force).

In 1871, after conducting an orchestra for some years and (beginning in 1865) directing a series of Popular Concerts in which works by Peter Leonard Leopold Benoit
Peter Leonard Leopold Benoit
Petrus Leonardus Leopoldus "Peter" Benoit , was a Flemish composer.His father and a local village organist were his first teachers...

 and Anton Rubinstein
Anton Rubinstein
Anton Grigorevich Rubinstein was a Russian-Jewish pianist, composer and conductor. As a pianist he was regarded as a rival of Franz Liszt, and he ranks amongst the great keyboard virtuosos...

 among others were featured, Samuel resigned and became director of the Ghent Conservatory.
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