August (Augustin) Andelhof received his first music lessons from his father Franz, who was director of the Flemish Music School in Turnhout. He subsequently continued his education at the conservatories of Antwerp and Brussels, where he became a laureate for violin, harmony and piano. He taught for a while at his father's music school, but soon enough he became a violinist in several orchestras, such as that of the Brussels Monnaie Theatre, the ‘Concerts Ysaye’ and the ‘Concerts Populaires’, while also being a violin soloist at the Casino in Blankenberge. Gradually he increasingly proved his mettle as a conductor, being in charge of the wind and percussion band of the Brussels ‘Maison du Peuple’ from 1914 to 1940. From 1919 on until 1926 for sure he also conducted the orchestra of the Monnaie Theatre in Brussels, from 1927 to 1938 being choirmaster there. At the foundation of the NIR-INR Belgian national radio broadcast he was part of the Board of Directors. He was active in the board of the national Orchestra of Belgium as well.
As a composer August Andelhof left behind quite an extensive oeuvre, witness Charles Van den Borren: “We owe to him numerous orchestral pieces, lieder and arrangements for wind and percussion orchestra of major classical works, a genre in which he particularly excelled.” Flavie Roquet mentions “orchestral pieces and songs, among which Le Forgeron and La chanson du vieux were prize-winning. In Turnhout in 1905 his song Mei (May) was performed together with an aria from the comedy Jan Klaas that had already been presented in 1904 to great acclaim.” The majority of Andelhof's scores and manuscripts is preserved in the Municipal Archives of Turnhout.
© Studiecentrum voor Vlaamse Muziek - Annelies Focquaert (translation: Jo Sneppe)