Music Chapel History

The origins of the Music Chapel are linked to two strong personalities: Queen Elisabeth, a violinist keen to help young talent, and Eugène Isaye, one of the greatest violinists and composers of his time. They wanted to support young talent through a highly specialised school and an international competition. The competition has been known since the outset and was to become the Queen Elisabeth Competition. The Music Chapel was inaugurated on 12 July 1939. It is known for teaching exceptional Young talented musicians. On that occasion, the famous critic of the age, Emile Vuillermoz, described the Music Chapel as a sort of “modern Villa Medici.”

The Music Chapel restructured its activities thoroughly in 2004. True to the spirit of its  founders, its new programme of instruction for young talented musicians can be defined through three key words: “opening, flexibility and the  search for excellence.”

Opening ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….….
The Music Chapel brings talented musicians from our country into contact with young musicians from the world over whilst strengthening these ties through various national and international institutions of the highest level.

Flexibility ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….……………….
The Music Chapel offers several cycles of study carefully adapted to the real needs of the most promising young and very young musicians.

Search for excellence ……………………………….………………………………………………………………………………………………………
The Music Chapel offers its students the best educational environment with three masters in residence, surrounded by eminent colleagues: Augustin Dumay for violin, Maria-Joao Pires for piano, Abdel Rahman El Bacha for piano, José Van Dam for voice, Gary Hoffman for cello.

An Voice Department, created in cooperation with the Monnaie Opera House and headed by José Van Dam, offers singers intensive training and concrete Professional experience. In addition to the individual disciplines, the Music Chapel offers intensive training in Chamber Music under the direction of the Artemis Quartet.

Finally, to carry out its supervision and support mission to the full, the music Chapel  organises some one 250 concerts every year on the premises as well as at various music centres in cooperation with other cultural partners.

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