He studied music at the age of ten in Bruges , three years later in Liverpool , and in in London on a scholarship at the Royal College of Music under composer Charles Villiers Stanford and the violinist Achille Rivarde among others. He was a violinist in Thomas Beecham 's Queen's Hall Orchestra from to and performed in the Philharmonic Quartet before coming to attention as Beecham's assistant conductor with a performance of Stanford's opera The Critic In he decided to make conducting his career and founded his own orchestra; with this ensemble he made a number of gramophone records for Edison-Bell's Velvet Face label.
For nearly a quarter of a century, he accepted positions at U. At the invitation of George Eastman he was conductor of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra from to This post also involved teaching at the Eastman School of Music.
During the late s he often conducted for Vladimir Rosing 's American Opera Company , an organization which grew out of the Eastman School. In a tribute to Goossens on his departure for Australia , nine American composers collaborated on Variations on a Theme by Eugene Goossens, for orchestra. He held these positions concurrently until March , when he was forced to resign after a major public scandal, only a year after being knighted.
Norton was known as an artist of the grotesque and for her interest in the occult and erotica , which Goossens secretly shared. They conducted an intense affair, exchanging a number of passionate letters; although Goossens asked Norton to destroy all of them, she kept a bundle hidden behind a sofa.
When Goossens returned to Australia on 9 March , he was detained at Sydney Airport , following a tip-off by informants in London; his bags were searched by Customs officials, who found a large amount of what was then considered pornographic material, which included photographs, prints, books, a spool of film, some rubber masks, and sticks of incense.
Although he was not immediately arrested or charged, Goossens naively agreed to attend a police interview a few days later, where he was confronted with photographs of Norton's "ceremonies" and his letters. Faced with the evidence of his affair with Norton — which left him open to the serious charge of "scandalous conduct" — Goossens was forced to plead guilty to the pornography charges.
He returned to England in disgrace. At the end of his life he and his wife lived apart, and he was instead joined by a young pianist from Adelaide , Pamela Main. Death[ edit ] His former student Richard Bonynge visited him near the end of his life, and found him "absolutely destroyed".
Nevertheless, he was engaged for work with the BBC, and Everest Records asked Goossens to make some stereo recordings. For Everest he completed a powerful recording of Respighi 's Feste Romane just before his death and it was released as the sole selection on the LP. He died of rheumatic fever and a haemorrhaging gastric ulcer on 13 June at Hillingdon Hospital in Middlesex. He was buried in St Pancras and Islington Cemetery. He left his estate including copyrights and royalties "to my faithful companion and assistant Miss Pamela Main".
Legacy[ edit ] Cover of the Suite for flute, violin and harp, or two violins and piano Among his works as a composer are two symphonies , , two string quartets , two violin sonatas and a concertino for octet among other chamber music. He wrote two operas. He wrote an oratorio , The Apocalypse, after the Revelation of St. The concertino, from , also exists in a later arrangement for string orchestra which is sometimes played.
In Goossens wrote to several composers, including Aaron Copland , to request patriotic fanfares as "stirring and significant contributions to the war effort The music was played by the Vienna State Opera Orchestra. Goossens is credited for much of the lobbying to the NSW Government to build a music performance venue, a process that led to the construction of the Sydney Opera House.
The site of Bennelong Point was confirmed in , after he had left Australia. He is commemorated in the Eugene Goossens Hall , a small concert and recording facility that is part of the broadcasting complex of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in Harris Street, Ultimo , in Sydney. A Conductor and His Audience. Discography[ edit ] A far from complete listing: Symphony No 4 and Alberto Ginastera: Symphony No 4 and Aaron Copland: EVC John Antill: Corroboree ballet suite and Alberto Ginastera: Panambi ballet suite, Estancia ballet suite, Heitor Villa-Lobos: EVC Arnold Bax: Issued circa September Peer Gynt Suite No.
Feste Romane with Respighi: Philips , Le Sacre du Printemps and Sergei Rachmaninoff: Interviewed by Michelle Arrow. Retrieved 25 April Retrieved 11 December Archived from the original on 3 October Retrieved 26 April Archived from the original on 13 May