Egidius Aerts was born in Boom and went to the Brussels Conservatory at the age of 12. In the class of his flute teacher Lahou he obtained the first prize in 1836. One year later he tried his luck in Paris, where he got the opportunity to perform at the court of king Louis-Philippe. Subsequently, together with Verelst, the former director of the Mechelen School of Music, he went on a concert tour through the South of France and Italy, in December 1838 giving concerts in theatres in Milan and Venice. In 1841, this time in the company of Eduard Grégoir, he stayed for 4 months in London. Upon his return to Belgium he once again went to the Conservatory, now for some years to take composition classes with Fétis. In 1845 he competed for the Prix de Rome with the cantata La Vendetta. In 1847 he again tried his luck with the cantata Le Roi Lear, yet once more without winning a prize. In November of that same year, however, he was appointed as a flute teacher at the school where he had completed his studies. Concurrently he also became first flautist of the orchestra of La Monnaie. But shortly afterwards he caught une maladie de langueur / lingering illness (called by others maladie de poitrine / consumption), which for him, barely 31 years old, turned out to be fatal.
As a composer he left behind symphonies and overtures, which were performed at the Conservatory, as well as concertos, studies and fantasies for flute, which were performed by his students for their exams, and several works for symphonic wind band. He also edited the daily Journal d’harmonies et de fanfares composé pour sociétés et musiques de régiments et de garde-civique.
© Studiecentrum voor Vlaamse Muziek vzw - Annelies Focquaert (translation: Jo Sneppe)