Author: Myrna Tumelero

Pensis orcfhestre 2
The RTL orchestra directed by Henri Pensis. Source: WEBER, Loll: Das Luxemburger Rundfunkorchester.


After the second world war, the first conductor of the RTL orchestra, Henri Pensis was very motivated to rebuild the orchestra again. Unfortunately in the first years (1947 – 1949), the new orchestra wasn’t successful at all and had to face many negativ critics. The main reason for this situation was that Henri Penis had to face a lot of financial problems. He was often forced to engage musicians that came from abroad, which couldn’t assist on many repetitions.

In 1952, Henri  Pensis tried to be very successful again and decided to give a great Beethoven concert. He taught it would be a great idea to play Beethoven’s symphony no. 9 with the orchestra  because he had been really successful with it in 1937. Pensis was right about his taught, the public just loved the performance given by the RTL orchestra.

The musicians were finally invited to play in the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels where even the queen  Elisabeth was one of the members of the audience. Then something special happened to the RTL orchestra in April 1953: It’s Beethoven concert was played on the main radio stations of the United States ( New York City, New York State, Pennsylvania and Connecticut). The american public loved the concert given by the orchestra and even their newspapers wrote about it. The orchestra was now successful all around the world again.


Listen to the RTL orchestra playing Beethoven’s symphony No 9.

Source: CNA ( The RTL orchestra playing Beethoven’s symphony no. 9 in 1952, directed by Henri Pensis).

Images used in the videoWEBER, Loll: Ein Dirigent aus Luxemburg 1900 – 1958.


If you wanna read the story of Beethoven and the RTL orchestra just go to my storymap.



WEBER, Loll: Das Luxemburger Rundfunkorchester. Eine dokumentarische Studie 1933-1940 / 1946 – 1958. Luxemburg 1993.

WEBER, Loll: Henri Pensis ein Dirigent aus Luxemburg 1900 – 1958. Luxemburg 1998.