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].
The orchestra has worked together regularly with the biggest names in music on the most important international stages : José Van Dam, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Aldo Ciccolini, Mischa Maïski, 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.
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 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, its city of residence, 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, with musicians of great renown, Belgian and foreign. It presents concerts for young audiences and offers services to young artists from the Mons Academy of Music and ARTS2 (École Supérieure des Arts).

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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). Over the years, the orchestra has performed with many top conductors and soloists. It enjoys an excellent reputation for performing premieres of new works and has collaborated with world-renowned composers such as Bartók, Stravinsky, Messiaen and Francesconi. The orchestra’s historic home port is the Flagey building, where it rehearses and performs in Studio 4, in acoustic terms one of the top concert halls in the world.

As of 2015, Stéphane Denève is the music director of the Brussels Philharmonic. This top French conductor comes to Brussels with a clear mission : he designs his programmes combining 21st century music with the great classics, thereby opening up a dialogue between the repertoire of the past and that of the future. The new platform that Denève and the Brussels Philharmonic are launching will play an important role in this regard : CffOR (Centre for Future Orchestral Repertoire) is seeking to collect core information about symphonic compositions since the year 2000, and thus to initiate a broad international dialogue about compositions that will withstand the test of time.

At the international level, the Brussels Philharmonic has made a name for itself, with regular appearances in the major European capitals (including Paris, London, Berlin, Vienna, Salzburg). The international representation by IMG Touring brings further tours and concerts in amongst others Japan and the USA.

Another speciality for which the Brussels Philharmonic has gained an international reputation is film music. For the performance and recording of soundtracks it regularly partners with Galaxy Studios and Film Fest Gent. International recognition has come, among others, in the form of the Oscarwinning score for ‘The Artist’ (music by Ludovic Bource). Besides its ground-breaking initiatives under way, including a spin-off for film music, the establishment of a foundation for the purchase of string instruments (with Puilaetco Dewaay Private Bankers), and more recently the Tax Shelter, the orchestra embraces innovation in every area and all levels of its activities.

Along with various partners, the Brussels Philharmonic is working on a number of award winning CD series : one with Klara involving Flemish soloists, another with the Palazzetto Bru Zane and conductor Hervé Niquet focused on French Romantic music, and still another with Film Fest Gent devoted to great film music composers. With its own label, Brussels Philharmonic Recordings, the orchestra is issuing reference recordings of the great symphonic repertoire. Recently, Deutsche Grammophon has released a recording of 21st century music by Guillaume Connesson under the baton of Stéphane Denève which also has gained international acclaim (CHOC Classica de l’année 2016 and Diapason d’Or de l’année 2016).

The Brussels Philharmonic is an institution of the Flemish Community.

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Stéphane Denève
France, °1971
Stéphane Denève is Music Director of the Brussels Philharmonic. With the orchestra he is at the same time launching CffOR (Centre for Future Orchestral Repertoire) : an extensive online database dedicated to 21st-century compositions for orchestra with chances at attaining ‘repertoire status’.

Meanwhile, Stéphane Denève remains Principal Guest Conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra. From 2005 to 2012 he was the Music Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO), and from 2011 to 2016 the Music Director of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra (SWR). Although he is at home in a very wide repertoire, Denève has great affinity for French music and is particularly committed to 21st-century music.

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.

Recent engagements in Europe and Asia have included appearances with 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 and Swedish Radio Symphony.

In North America he made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2012 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, with whom he is a frequent guest both in Boston and at Tanglewood, and he appears regularly with The Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, The Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony. He made his New York Philharmonic debut in 2015. 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 Znaider, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Gil Shaham, James Ehnes, Emanuel Ax, Lars Vogt, Nikolaï Lugansky, Paul Lewis, Joshua Bell, Hilary Hahn, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon.

As a recording artist, he 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 de l’année (2007, 2012 and 2016), has been shortlisted for Gramophone’s Artist of the Year 2012 Award, and is a winner of the International Classical Music Awards 2013.

A graduate and prize-winner of the Paris Conservatoire, Stéphane Denève worked closely in his early career with Sir Georg Solti, Georges Prêtre and Seiji Ozawa. 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 and the New World Symphony in Miami.
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