Henri Gagnebin (1886 – 1977)
Henri Gagnebin, born in Liège, Belgium, studied in Berlin between 1906-1908 and spent his subsequent years of study principally in Paris, where he received organ lessons from Louis Vierne and studied composition with Vincent d’Indy. For several years, he was an organ player at the Lutheran church in Paris.
Starting in 1916, he became an organ player in Lausanne. During this period, he perfected his composition studies with Joseph Lauber in Geneva. He taught music history from 1918-1926 at the Lausanne Conservatory.
In 1925, he followed a call to be Director at the Geneva Conservatory and, as a founder of the Concours de Genève, he advanced to become the leading musical personality in French Switzerland. Gagnebin came from a pastor’s family from Renan, Bern Canton, and was a friend of Frank Martin (himself also a student of Joseph Lauber), Ernest Ansermet, Arthur Rubinstein, Andrés Segovia and Mstislav Rostropovich. From 1925-1937, he was a member of the board of the Swiss Association of Musicians.