Alphonse Jean Hasselmans was born March 5, 1845 in Liege, Belgium and died May 19, 1912 inParis, France. He was a French harpist and composer of Belgian birth, son of Josef H. Hasselmans. He first studied the harp with his father, then with Gottlieb Kruger in Stuttgart, Xavier Desargus in Brussels and Ange-Conrad Prumier (son of Antoine Prumier) in Paris. The early part of his career was spent in Brussels, where he became harpist at the Theatre de la Monnaie. In 1877 he gave eight successful solo concerts in Paris, which brought him appointments as solo harpist with the Paris orchestras of the Conservatoire, Opera and Opera-Comique. In 1884 he succeeded his teacher Prumier as professor of the harp at the Conservatoire. He revised the harp course, and the principles of his teaching appear in his article "La harpe et sa technique".
As a virtuoso Hasselmans was a significant force in the revival of harp playing at the turn of the century. A large number of compositions of value were inspired by his performance and dedicated to him. His own compositions for harp have added much technical value to the repertory of the instrument. He wrote some 50 pieces which include Gitana op. 21, La Source op. 44 and many transcriptions
"Gitana" was written by Hasselmans in 1890 entirely for Harp, it is best played using the "GeneralUser GS.sf2" Soundfont by S. Christian Collins Software (http://www.schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php).