Stamp of the Month: November 2023

Lou Koster

Luxembourg 18.2.2003
The Luxembourgish composer Marie Louise “Lou” Koster was born on May 7, 1889 in Luxembourg and died on November 17, 1973 in her hometown. November 2023 will mark the 50th anniversary of her death.
Lou Koster received music lessons from her grandfather Franz Ferdinand Hoebich (1813–1900), the very first bandmaster of the Luxembourg military band. During the last years of the silent film era, Lou played piano and violin with
her sisters Lina and Laure in Luxembourg cinemas to accompany the films. In 1906, Lou Koster became one of the first students at the newly founded conservatory in Luxembourg. In 1908, just 19 years old, she became a lecturer in violin and piano at this university.
Lou Koster created an extensive oeuvre of 322 compositions. At first she mainly composed waltzes and marches, which were played by the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra from 1933 and broadcast on the radio. Chamber music, piano and orchestral works, works for children’s choir, fairy tale plays, as well as operas and operettas followed later. After her retirement, from 1954 onwards, she devoted herself primarily to composing songs in the three languages spoken in the country. Her greatest success was the choral ballad “Der Geiger von Echternach” (The violinist from Echternach), which she worked on until shortly before her death.

The video shows the Luxembourgish soprano Noémie Sunnen (*1978), who suffers from ALS, accompanied by Annie Kraus, with the song “Akaziebléi” (Acacia Blossom) by Lou Koster. The recording was made on July 5, 2017 at a benefit concert at the Luxembourg Conservatory for patients with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).