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Serge Lancen

Serge Lancen was born on 5 November 1922 in Paris (France). His father was a doctor, but also played the violin in a community orchestra, his mother was a talented pianist. For this reason it was no surprise that Serge Lancen was attracted by classical music from an early age. At the age of five he wrote his first composition, a "Berceuse for baby hippopothamus, for doublebass and piano" which was later published. Shortly afterwards Serge Lancen became a private teacher for music theory and piano. At the age of 15 he had composed so many piano compositions to perform a recital with own works. The concert was given at the Rudolf Steiner Hall in London in 1937.

Later Serge Lancen studied piano under Marguerite Long, Rose Lejour and Lazare Lévy (piano) and Tony Aubin, Henry Busser and Noël Gallon (harmony, counterpoint and composition) at the Conservatoire de Paris. After his studies he worked as a pianist and composer, and taught improvisation and musical analysis. In 1950 Serge Lancen was awarded the "deuxieme Second Prix de Rome" for his canata "Bettina". Through Desire Dondeyne - a former fellow student, clarinetist and conductor - Serge Lancen was introduced into the music for wind orchestra in 1954. He was fascinated by this kind of ensemble and composed more than 60 compositions for wind orchestra throughout his lifetime. This part of his output is considered as his most important.

But Serge Lancen also composed for full symphony orchestras and chamber music. Among his compositions are more than a dozen concertos for instruments like piano, violin, flute, harpe, saxophone, double bass or harmonica, a Symphonie legere and a Sinfonietta, a chamber opera, religious work like a Missa Solemnis, an oratorio, the Poeme oecumenique for soloists, choir, organ and symphony orchestra, chamber music, songs and even film music.
Serge Lancen died on 10 July 2005 in Paris (France).


In my possession is the autograph manuscript of the "Trois Impromtus, pour piano" by Serge Lancen. The work was composed in 1953 and is one of the early compositions by Serge Lancen and from a time before his emphasis on works for wind orchestra.

The "Trois Impromptu" were published by Hinrichsen Edition in 1953 and in this final version the composition is dedicated "To my friend Giovanni Cramer". But the autograph shows that each impromptu was dedicated to a special person at first which was later crossed out. Serge Lancen wanted to dedicate the three impromtus to: 1. Katleen Long, 2. To my friend Giovanni Cramer and 3. Vera Benenson.

I could not find information about the world premiere of the composition.

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