Cabus at the organ,
St-Kateline Church Mechelen, ca. 1945

Peter Cabus was born in Mechelen on 27 July 1923. He was raised in a musical family. He took his first music lessons at the City Conservatory in his birth place, following among other subjects, harmony and counterpoint with Godfried Devreese. As a member of the choir of Saint Rombouts he had his first accquaintance with the Gregorian repertoire and the style of the Flemish polyphonists. After his secondary schooling (Greek-Latin) he chose for professional musical training.

Inscription card of the conservatory

At the Lemmens Institute, that at the time was in Mechelen, he followed organ lessons with Flor Peeters and counterpoint with Marinus De Jong. The organ was not his favorite instrument. For his piano training he attended the Brussels Conservatory. There he followed piano with Charles Scharrès, chamber music with André Gertler and composition with Jean Absil.

As a laureate of the Brussels Conservatory Peter Cabus was mainly active as a soloist and chamber musician. He was also a valued accompanist. In the course of the 1950s and ’60s he gave regular recitals and and worked on various radio series with various stations. He was a frequent accompanist on the "l'Atelier" with painter Marcel Hastir in Brussels, where well known national and international names from the music world came to present themselves to the press. He also accompanied Clemens Quatacker, violinist and laureate of the Queen Elisabeth Competition on a concert tour.

Cabus with pianist Youri Egorov, 1975

Gradually he began to profile himself more and more as a teacher and composer. He was employed by various music academies, high schools as well as the City Conservatory of Mechelen. In 1959 he was named director of the latter, following Godfried Devreese. Concerning the role of music education in the community he had the following vision: ‘A music school has to also fill a cultural role, which is to provide for the musical life of many which is perhaps its most important task: the teaching of amatuers who perform for their own spiritual enjoyment thus forming a faithful concert public.’ He taught harmony, counterpoint and composition at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels (Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel). He also taught music notation at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Waterloo.

A Belgian Ouverture, 1980

In 1972 he co-founded the Mechelen branch of the Festival van Vlaanderen. He was also a member of the Royal Academy of Science, Literature and Fine Arts of Belgium. With his fascinating compositions and inspiring teaching, Peter Cabus was greatly valued.

Peter Cabus died in Mechelen on 11 November 2000.