Clement Lenom was born in Gilly, Belgium January 6, 1865. At the age of six he began to learn music with his mother and grandfather. He earned a scholarship to the Royal Conservatory of Brussels in 1878 where he studied the oboe under Joseph Dupont, the chef d’orchestra of the Opera de la Mannaie. While at Brussels he won First Prize for oboe, First Prize for Superior Solfege, and First Prize for Harmony. In 1885 he went to the Conservatoire de Paris where he continued his training on the oboe under G. Gillet.
In 1888 Lenom became a member of the Colonne Orchestra. He also played with the Monte Carlo and Nice Orchestras and conducted in Nice, Rouen, Geneva, Biarritz, Brussels, and Aix-les-Bains. While with the Colonne Orchestra he met Georges Longy, who came to Boston in 1900. In 1901 Longy convinced Lenom to come to America for a year-long trial period. He never moved back.
Lenom played English horn and oboe with the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1901-1925. From 1913-1917 he conducted the Boston Pops Concerts and conducted the MacDowell Club Orchestra from 1926-1929. Lenom played second oboe and English horn in the famous Longy Club, which also included musicians like Georges Longy, Andre and Daniel Maquarre, Georges Grisez, Peter Sedony, and John Helleberg.. He met George W. Chadwick in 1901 when Chadwick convinced him to come to the New England Conservatory of Music to begin a solfege school based on the French training system. He remained at NEC as the head of the Solfege department and an instructor in oboe and woodwind ensemble until 1942.
For “distinguished service to music” Lenom received the honorary award of Offic de L’Instruction Publique in 1911 from the French government and Chevalier de la Couronne from the Belgium government. His compositions include: Ballet-Divertissments; Action L’Astuce des Amants le Royaume de Diable; Musette Canzonetta; Berceuse et Rone Villageoise; Caprice-Mazurka; and Melody for French Horn.
Clement Lenom passed away in 1957 at the age of 91. He died in his home in Brookline, MA, leaving behind his wife Mary (Bartlett) Lenom. They had been married since 1932.
The Lenom collection consists of one manuscript box containing six folders, which include paper materials and photographs, printed music composed by Lenom, and manuscript music composed by Lenom. A second box contains a bust of Clement Lenom created by Bruce Wilder Saville.
This collection of papers and photographs was donated to the NEC Archives in February 1992 by Stevens Hewitt. The bust was donated by his widow, Mary Lenom, in 1992.
In addition to this collection, published books and scores from Clement Lenom’s personal collection were donated by Mrs. Mary Lenom in 1992 and Lenom’s great niece, Ms. Cheryl Bishkoff in 1999. These items were incorporated into the general library collection.
Access to the Clement Lenom Collection is granted by the Archivist or Director of Libraries. Appointments must be scheduled in advance. There are no restrictions pertaining to this collection. Access to other individual manuscripts by Lenom can be found by searching our online catalog.
All copyrights to this collection belong to the New England Conservatory. Permission to publish materials from this collection is granted by the Director of Libraries. This collection should be cited as the Clement Lenom Collection, New England Conservatory Archives. Boston, MA.