Most distinguished member of a Belgium musical family, his father being a singer of note and his brothers well-known musicians. He was a composer and pianist. He studied at the Conservatory of Leipsic for five years, being a pupil of Moscheles, during which time he gained a number of prizes. After finishing his studies he made several concert tours with his brothers, one of whom, Leopold, was also a fine pianist, while the other, Gerhard, was a violinist. In 1866 he became first professor of the piano in the Stern Conservatory at Berlin. Later he was professor in the Conservatory at Brussels, and from 1878 until his death held the same position in the St. Petersburg Conservatory. He wrote two operettas, Der Thronfolger and Der Missionar, beside many piano-pieces, the best of which were his etudes, and also songs.