Orchestras and conductors
 
Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie
In 1958, Lola Bobesco created “Les Solistes de Bruxelles” [Brussels Soloists], renamed “Ensemble d’archets Eugène Ysaÿe” [Eugène Ysaÿe String Ensemble], now known as the ‘Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie’ [Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonia]. Following the last Music Directors, Augustin Dumay (2003-2013) and Frank Braley (2014-2019), Vahan Mardirossian took the baton to continue their work of excellence.
The orchestra has worked together regularly with the biggest names in music on the most important international stages, as well as performing regularly in Mons, the Cultural Capital of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation and the European Capital of Culture 2015 : José Van Dam, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Aldo Ciccolini, Mischa Maisky, Maurice André, Arthur Grumiaux, Philippe Hirschhorn, Georges Octors, Jean-Pierre Wallez, Gidon Kremer, Louis Lortie, Jian Wang, Ivry Gitlis, Antoine Tamestit, Henri Demarquette, Richard Galliano, the Modigliani Quartet, Jean-Philippe Collard, Gérard Caussé, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Augustin Dumay, Maria-João Pires ; in Paris, Beijing, Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Bucharest, Bayreuth, Munich, Luxembourg, Zurich, Geneva, Saint Petersburg, Brussels, etc.
The orchestra is a regular partner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition since more than twenty years, the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, and many Belgian and international music festivals. The Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonia performs often under the direction of Jean-François Chamberlan, its principal violinist.
In Mons, with Mars (Mons Arts de la Scène) [Mons Performing Arts], and the support of the City of Mons, the orchestra gives concerts with a diversified and original repertoire. It presents concerts for young audiences and offers services to young artists from the Mons Academy of Music and ARTS2 (École Supérieure des Arts).
www.orcw.be
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Frank Braley
France, °1968
Brilliant and atypical, Frank Braley did not follow the path usually laid down for artists of his calibre. He even strongly insists that he never wanted to become a pianist. He could be described as a dilettante, but one of genius and an obsessive one, too, who gives more than eighty concerts a year. After hesitating between science and music, the self-assured young Braley finally abandoned the university on reaching adulthood and joined the elect in the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris. Despite his best efforts to end last in the class, the stubborn youngster emerged overqualified and soon found himself propelled onto the international scene following his First Prize in the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 1991. Invited by the great orchestras and laden down with flattering comparisons with the great pianists, Braley didn’t let the praise go to his head. An astute and quick-witted artist, with strong ideas about music, he has lost none of his spontaneous, laid-back relationship with the piano, which combines humour and poetry with modesty, gracefulness, and unshakeable sincerity. Frank Braley, after all, plays for pleasure, whether for the great thrill of a recital or the joy of playing chamber music with friends such as Augustin Dumay, Paul Meyer, Eric Le Sage, Emmanuel Pahud, and the Capuçon brothers.
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Brussels Philharmonic
The Brussels Philharmonic was founded in 1935 by the Belgian public broadcaster (NIR/INR). Since its creation, it has worked with top international conductors and soloists, and was and is known to be a pioneer in performing contemporary music - a reputation that brought world-renowned composers such as Bartók, Stravinsky and Messiaen to Brussels. The orchestra’s historic home port is the Flagey building in Brussels, where it rehearses and performs in Studio 4, in acoustic terms one of the top concert halls in the world.
The French top conductor Stéphane Denève is the music director of the Brussels Philharmonic. His passion for music of the 21st century and his personal mission to open up a dialogue between the repertoire of the past and that of the future ties in with the DNA of the orchestra. Starting in the 2022-23 season, Kazushi Ono will take up the baton as music director of the Brussels Philharmonic.
At the international level, the Brussels Philharmonic has made a name for itself, with regular appearances in the major European capitals. The international representation by IMG Touring brings further tours and concerts in amongst others Japan and the USA. In addition, the orchestra is internationally acclaimed for its expertise in film music, one highlight being the Oscar-winning score for ‘The Artist’. In Belgium, the orchestra is a regular partner of the Film Fest Gent and of MotorMusic, and participates each year in concerts with iconic films.
Meanwhile, the orchestra has proven to be a pioneer in other respects as well, with ground-breaking initiatives including the Tax Shelter, the BXLphil app, the Symphonic Sporting Jacket, the establishment of a foundation for the purchase of string instruments and the partnership with Brussels Airlines, the orchestra embraces innovation in every area and all levels of its activities.
The recordings of Brussels Philharmonic (Deutsche Grammophon, Palazzetto Bru Zane, Klara/Warner Classics, Film Fest Gent, Brussels Philharmonic Recordings) have been warmly received by the international press and awarded an ECHO Klassik, Choc de Classica de l’année and Diapason d’Or de l’année, amongst others. The Brussels Philharmonic is an institution of the Flemish Community.
www.brusselsphilharmonic.be
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Stéphane Denève
France, °1971
Stéphane Denève is Music Director of the Brussels Philharmonic and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Director of Brussels Philharmonic’s Centre for Future Orchestral Repertoire (CffOR). He previously served as Chief Conductor of Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra (SWR) and Music Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. In 2023, Denève will assume the position of Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra.
Although he is at home in a very wide repertoire, Denève has great affinity for French music and is a passionate advocate for music of the 21st century. He is committed to inspiring the next generation of musicians and listeners, and works regularly with young people in the programmes of the Boston Symphony’s Tanglewood Music Center, the New World Symphony, the Colburn School and the Music Academy of the West.
He performs with the worlds’ most renowned orchestras, such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, NHK Symphony, Vienna Symphony, Orchestra Sinfonica dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Orchestre National de France, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Swedish Radio Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony.
In the field of opera, Stéphane Denève has led productions at the Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne Festival, La Scala, Saito Kinen Festival, Gran Teatro de Liceu, Dutch National Opera, La Monnaie, and at the Opéra National de Paris.
He enjoys close relationships with many of the world’s leading solo artists, including Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Leif Ove Andsnes, Yo-Yo Ma, Lang Lang, Leonidas Kavakos, Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Gil Shaham, James Ehnes, Emanuel Ax, Lars Vogt, Nikolay Lugansky, Paul Lewis, Joshua Bell, Hilary Hahn, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon.
As a recording artist, Stéphane Denève has won critical acclaim for his recordings of the works of Poulenc, Debussy, Ravel, Roussel, Franck and Connesson. He is a triple winner of the Diapason d’Or of the Year, has been shortlisted for Gramophone’s Artist of the Year Award, and has won the prize for symphonic music at the International Classical Music Awards. Recent releases include discs of Prokofiev suites and the works of Guillaume Connesson with the Brussels Philharmonic (awarded the Diapason d’Or of the Year and the Choc Classica of the Year), and a disc with Lucas and Arthur Jussen and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, all for Deutsche Grammophon. In 2019, a live recording of Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra was released on RCO Live.
www.stephanedeneve.com
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