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Louis Fremaux (b1921)

Louis Frémaux’s studies at the Valenciennes Conservatoire were interrupted by the outbreak of World War II. In 1940 the occupying German forces placed him in a labour camp, but he escaped and joined first the French Resistance and then the Foreign Legion, serving from 1945 to 1947 in Vietnam, where he was twice awarded the Croix de Guerre. Eventually in 1947 Frémaux entered the Paris Conservatoire, studying conducting with Louis Fourestier and in 1952 winning the first prize for conducting. A piece of good luck came with the concert given for his conducting diploma with a student orchestra, in that since it was a memorial concert for Delvaincourt, the recently-deceased principal of the Conservatoire, it was attended by many senior figures of the French musical world, and as a result Frémaux was awarded a recording contract by the then-young French company Erato. Many of his subsequent recordings for Erato were of music of the French Baroque: one of these, the Requiem by Gilles, was very successful and won the Grand Prix du Disque in 1956.




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