Désiré Dondeyne

French conductor, composer and teacher Désiré Dondeyne was born at Laon (Aisne), on 21 July 1921. He studied at Lille conservatoire and then (from 1936) at the Conservatoire de Paris, winning various prizes.

He played solo clarinet with the Musique de l'air (1939-53) and was conductor of La Musique des Gardiens de la Paix (1954-79), travelling through Europe and making over a hundred recordings, including an Anthology of French Marches. His recordings also include two versions of Berlioz's Grande symphonie funèbre et triomphale - for band, and for band with chorus.

He expanded wind band repertoire by composing works, discovering music and encouraging other composers to write. His own compositions ranged from instrumental to symphonic.

In 1979 he joined the French Ministry of Culture's governing board, and from 1980 until 1986 he was director of the conservatoire at Issy-les-Moulineaux, near Paris.

Désiré Dondeyne died on 12 February 2015, aged ninety-three.