Georges Aelsters descended from a family of musicians and was born in Ghent. After lessons from his father he was appointed as city carilloneur at the age of 18, a function he held until 1839, when the belfry bell tower got stability problems. For half a century he was band/choirmaster and organist of St Martin's Church, composing several masses, motets, litanies and other sacred music for this church. These compositions were frequently performed in other Ghent churches as well. He taught basso continuo to the young Désiré Van Reysschoot and was also a teacher at the boarding school of the ‘Dames de l’Instruction Chrétienne’ in Doorzele near Ghent. For this school he also composed songs and choral works. His best-known work is a Miserere.
His son, Georges Jacques [junior], was also carilloneur.
© Studiecentrum voor Vlaamse Muziek vzw - Annelies Focquaert (translation: Jo Sneppe)