He was the fi rst conductor of the symphonic orchestra of RTL which became the Philharmonic Orchestra of Luxembourg in 1996. A man with a big heart and a true humanist, Henri Pensis was primarily responsible for the emergence of Luxembourg musical life. Fifty years ago, on 1 June 1958, this famous romantic artist left us.
Born on 3 November 1900 in Pfaffenthal, Henri Pensis fi rst studied music at the Luxembourg Conservatory, then in Brussels and at the Musikhochschule in Cologne. Then, he started his career as a violinist. In 1926, he won an international competition which led to him being named the first violinist of the symphonic orchestra of Cologne-Langenberg. Struck by his talent, the famous Hermann Abendroth then proposed to Pensis that he take him on as a student.
Returning to Luxembourg at the age of 33, he became the first conductor of the brand new Radio Luxembourg Orchestra. In 1940, invited to the United States, he directed the symphonic orchestras of New Jersey and Sioux City, teaching at the famous Morningside College and conducting three concerts at Carnegie Hall in New York.
At the end of the war, upon return to Luxembourg, he once again became the head of Radio Luxembourg symphonic orchestra. Held back by a serious eye disease, in 1955, he gave his last concert on May 19 at the Universal Exposition in