Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra

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The Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra (BPhO or BPO) is a Belgian orchestra based in Brussels. The orchestra is intended as a training entity to allow young musicians opportunities to perform regularly as part of a large ensemble in preparation for their professional careers. In September 2002, Clare Roberts and Roger Bausier created the symphonic ensemble, the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra (BPhO), from scratch aiming especially on young musicians. Roberts was the manager until 2008 and Bausier headed the ensemble as the Artistic Director until he died in 2012.

Bausier and Roberts realized early in stage that due to budget cuts in the Belgian culture scene a progressive disappearance of great orchestras limited Belgian musicians to further practice in bigger ensembles when leaving a Belgian conservatory. After the decease of Bausier, David Navarro Turres, a Belgo-Chilean conductor and graduate from the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, was nominated as the Principal Conductor and Artistic Leader of the BPhO in January 2014. He strengthened furthermore the unique formation of young musicians and enlarged the repertoire with Latin American and Balkan music.

The BPhO focused hence and provided young conservatory graduates an opportunity to put their musical training into practice by playing in a permanent, full-sized symphony orchestra, and thus enhance their chances of becoming professional musicians being engaged in the best orchestras in Belgium or in Europe. The age ranges hence between 21 and 35. Since its restructuring in 2014 it therefore developed its own way and became a confirmed reality in the Belgian cultural scene. The aim is to keep about sixty young talented musicians engaged with the orchestra, always supported by several recognized artists. The orchestra also promotes the careers of young Belgian soloists by giving them an opportunity to play with a large established orchestra. Today, the musicians of the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra hail from twenty-four countries and four continents which has created a European and International atmosphere within the orchestra. They are brought together by their love of music and their belief in its power to foster peace and harmony between peoples and communities.

The orchestra has enhanced its reputation by being chosen to take part in high-profile events such as the annual concerts celebrating the signature of the Treaty of Rome in 2007 and International Children’s Rights Day, the COFENA concerts in Antwerp, as well as the Royal Brussels Conservatoire’s yearly conducting competition. The orchestra gave the peace concert at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels "The Armed Man, a Mass for Peace" after the Brussels attacks in April 2016, including Muslim and Jewish prayers in a beautiful composition of sounds. The BPhO also played with the famous Goran Bregovic at the opening concert of the BALKAN TRAFIK Festival in April 2017.

The BPhO organises around 10 concerts per season, which are mostly held at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, as well as the Palais des Beaux-Arts (BOZAR; Centre for Fine Arts) or other venues and churches in and around Brussels. . Elsewhere in Belgium, the BPhO gives concerts in towns such as Beringen, Bruges, Courtrai, Coxijde, Hasselt, Namur, Ostende, and Tournai, Meise or Antwerp.

So far the BPhO prepares its concerts in regular and frequent rehearsals; they cover the major works of the classical repertoire as well as more contemporary ones. In each concert they dedicate one piece to Belgian composers in order to give them a stage as well. The ensemble also plays frequently with soloists of international fame, in venues like the Palais des Beaux-Arts (BOZAR), the Royal Conservatoire and the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, the Queen Elisabeth Hall in Antwerp, the Concertgebouw in Bruges, the Casino/Kursaal in Ostend, the Cultureel Centrum van Hasselt, the Théâtre Royal de Namur, het Stadsschouwburg van Kortrijk, and Le Nouveau Siècle in Lille or the Palais des Congrès in Paris.

The BPhO has made a point of programming Belgian compositions, including works by Dirk Brossé, François Glorieux, Jacques Leduc, Frédéric van Rossum, Didier Van Damme, Jan Van der Roost, Frédéric Devreese, Robert Janssens, Max Vandermaesbrugge, Michel Lysight [1] , August De Boeck and Marcel Poot.

Théâtre Saint Michel
Théâtre Saint Michel

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