Defauw, DēSirē was born on September 5, 1885 in Ghent, Belgium. Son of Francois Defauw.
Began study of violin Ghent Conservatory, at age of 7. Graduate with high honors Royal Conservatory, Brussels, 1902.
1 son, John. Conducted orchestra in Ghent at age 15. Toured as violinist at age 16. Conductor New Symphony Orchestra, London, 1906-1910.
Also guest conductor Berlin Philharmonic, and archs., in Rome, Vienna, Moscow, Leningrad, Madrid, Budapest. Organized his own string quartet, 1913, and appeared in London and Paris. Became conductor Society of Classic Music, London, 1915.
Conductor Allied Quartet, 1914-1918. Founded Concerts Defauw, Brussels, 1922. Became director Concerts du Conservatoire, Brussels, 1920.
Became director Belgium National Radio, 1924. Professor of conducting and orchestral classes, 1933. Established National Orchestra, of Belgium, 1937, and became its first conductor.
United States debut as conductor NBC Orchestra, 1939. Was conducting Bologna (Italy) Orchestra, when Germany invaded Belgium, May 1940. Proceeded to London, then to the United States.
Conductor Concerts Symphoniques, Montreal, August 1940, and became regular conductor, 1940-1943. Guest conductor Boston and Detroit Symphonies, 1940, 41, NBC Symphony concert series, August 1941. Chicago, 1943; appointed mus. director Chicago, Symphony Orchestra for season 1943-1944.
Address: Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago 60604.