August de Boeck studied at the Brussels Conservatory. He formed a friendship with Paul Gilson in 1889 and Gilson became his teacher for orchestration. The pair were influenced by Rimsky-Korsakov and other members of the Russian Five. Together they introduced musical impressionism into Belgium. De Boeck taught at the Royal Flemish Conservatory and the Brussels Conservatory and served as director of the Mechlin Conservatory. He was also organist at several churches. His compositions are lyrical and ironic in feeling and are regarded as representative of the Belgian music of his time.