Chairman of the jury
Arie Van Lysebeth
Belgium, °1938
Arie Van Lysebeth was the President of the Jury of the Queen Elisabeth Competition from 1996 to 2018. He took up the violin at the age of four. He completed his higher education at the Brussels Conservatory in music theory, bassoon, chamber music, and orchestral conducting. Following a competition, he was appointed bassoon soloist of the Belgian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra. Two years later, he came joint first in the Prague International Bassoon Contest. He also studied conducting under Bruno Maderna in Salzburg and under Pierre Boulez in Switzerland. Starting in 1970, he conducted the Flemish Chamber Orchestra, both in Belgium and abroad. As a guest conductor, he has appeared with the major Belgian orchestras as well as with symphony orchestras in the United States of America, Argentina, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Germany. He has performed with many famous soloists, including Igor Oistrakh, José Van Dam, Murray Perahia, and Augustin Dumay. From 1995 to 2004 he was the regular conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of the Brussels Conservatory, where he taught chamber music for many years (1970-1994) and served as director (1994-2003). From 2004 to 2014, he was the artistic director of the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel.
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Philippe Boesmans
Belgium, °1936
Philippe Boesmans was born in Tongeren (Belgium) in 1936. After he studied piano at the Conservatoire de Liège, he chose for a composer’s career. Initially greatly influenced by serialism, he soon felt it necessary to break beyond its constraints and exclusions. Never dismissing this recent heritage, he nonetheless developed a profoundly personal musical language, at the very centre of which lay meaningful communication with its audience.

Boesmans’ career has been a prestigious one. He has consistently participated at important contemporary music festivals (those of Darmstadt, Royan, Zagreb, Avignon, Almeida, Strasbourg, Montreal, Ars Musica, Salzbourg and IRCAM to name but a few) as well as recording extensively. Based in Brussels, he also took up the post of producer at the television company RTBF in 1971, going on to become the composer in residence at the Monnaie, where Gerard Mortier commissioned several of his works, including La Passion de Gilles (1983), the Trakl-Lieder (1987) and his 1989 orchestration of L’Incoronazione di Poppea de Monteverdi.

His relationship with La Monnaie continued to be a fruitful one, Bernard Foccroulle commissioning in 1993 a new opera, Reigen, staged by its writer Luc Bondy, who adapted the piece from the Schnitzler opus of the same name. That same year, the production toured to Strasbourg, continuing on to the Monnaie and the Theatre du Châtelet in 1994, and the Frankfurt Opera in 1995. Reigen continued to be staged throughout the nineties, for instance at the Nantes Opera (1997), the Wiener Opern Theatre (1997), in Braunschweig (1998) and Amsterdam (1999). In 2004, a new version of the piece, adapted for chamber orchestra, was commissioned from Fabrizio Cassol by the Rhine National Opera, and staged by the Rhine Atelier at the Colmar Municipal Theatre that May. Further performances were scheduled in Mulhouse, Paris, Strasbourg and Lausanne. The Opera Studio Nederland toured in September and October 2007 in a staging of Harry Küpfer.

In further collaboration with Luc Bondy, Boesmans created Wintermärchen for La Monnaie in 1999. This production too proved highly successful, being performed the following year at the Lyon Opera, in Paris at Châtelet, and at the Barcelona Liceo in 2004. Further performances were programmed in Braunschweig, Vienna and Nuremberg. The opera was recorded in 2000 with Deutsche Gramophon.

The one-act opera Julie was created in 2005 at La Monnaie and was programmed at the Wiener Festwochen and at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence. Other productions were programmed in Braunschweig (2006), London (2007), Bolzano (2009), Sweden (2010), …

The last opera Philippe Boesmans composed, again in collaboration with Luc Bondy, was Yvonne after Yvonne, Princesse de Bourgogne from Witold Gombrowicz. This opera went in première in 2009 at the Opéra de Paris and programmed at La Monnaie in 2010. A new version of his orchestration of L’Incoronazione di Poppea from Monteverdi went in première at the opera of Madrid in June, 2012.

During his career Philippe Boesmans obtained many prizes: the Italia prize for Upon La-Mi. His Concerto pour violon and Conversions CDs won no less than six prizes, including the Koussevitzky International Recording Prize and the Charles Cros Academy award. He was awarded the Arthur Honegger Prize in December 2000, and the SACD Music Prize in May 2004. In December 2007, the DVD of Julie (BelAir Classiques) received several prizes among them le Grand Prix Charles Cros. In 2009, Philippe Boesmans was awarded for Yvonne, princesse de Bourgogne ‘le prix de la critique française’ for the best creation of the year and the CD received the Diapason d’Or.
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Frédéric Devreese
Belgium, °1929 - 2020
Dutch-born Belgian composer of stage, orchestral, chamber, choral, and piano works; however, Frédéric Devreese is best known for his many memorable film scores and for his conducting. He received his first musical training from his father and then studied in Brussels (composition with Marcel Poot and conducting with René Defossez). He went on to study composition at the Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome and conducting at the Wiener Staatsakademie. At the age of nineteen, he received the Prize of the Town of Ostend for his Piano Concerto No. 1. In 1983, his Piano Concerto No. 4 was the compulsory work for the Queen Elisabeth Competition. Devreese has received several national and international awards, including the Prix Italia for his TV opera Willem van Saeftinghe, the Georges Delerue Award, the Plateau Music Award (twice) for his film music, and the Klara-Carrièreprijs (2006). As a conductor, he has made a number of recordings for the Naxos Anthology of Flemish Music, for which he was nominated Cultural Ambassador of Flanders in 1996-97.
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Jean-Marie Simonis
Belgium, °1931
Jean-Marie Simonis (1931) is a laureate of the Brussel's Royal Academy of Music, where he got several distinctions. he won the Prize of Rome as well as several composition prizes, among which the SABAM Prize for the whole of his works.

His Cantilène (Cantilena) for violin and orchestra was the imposed concerto for the final round at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 1985. In 1975 and in 1978, his Evocations and his Notturno were already chosen for the semi-finals.

Honorary professor at the Royal Academy of Music of Brussel's, Jean-Marie Simonis has taught at the Queen Elisabeth Musical Chapel ans he is a member of the Royal Academy of Belgium since 1985.

He has composed a lot of symphonic, vocal and instrumental works. Most of his works have been published and a dozen have been recorded on plates or CD's.
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Luc Van Hove
Belgium
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