Walter Boeykens

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Walter Boeykens
Birth nameWalter Boeykens
BornJanuary 6, 1938 (1938-01-06)
Bornem, Belgium
DiedApril 23, 2013 (2013-04-24)
Bornem, Belgium
GenresClassical, Chamber music, Jazz
Occupation(s)Soloist, Conductor, Teacher
Years active1964-2013

Walter, Knight Boeykens (January 6, 1938 – April 23, 2013) was a Belgian conductor and a world-renowned clarinetist. Boeykens' impressive discography, including several critically acclaimed performances, are testimony to his status as one of the most notable clarinetists of the 20th century. Boeykens remained active and was in concert frequently all around the world until his death in 2013.

His career as a clarinetist[edit]

Boeykens studied the clarinet at the Royal Conservatory of Music Brussels. In 1965 he won the International competition for contemporary music of Utrecht (Netherlands).

Between 1964 en 1984 he was principal clarinetist of Belgian Radio and Television (BRT) Philharmonic Orchestra.

On December 20, 1968 he created Domaines by Pierre Boulez —originally written for Hans Deinzer— in the version for Clarinet and Orchestra with the BRT Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of the composer himself.

This achievement launched him onto the path of a very successful career as a soloist. As a consequence, he was invited to many of the big European music festivals such as those of Berlin, Paris, Warschau, Salzburg, and last but not least to the festivals of Wallonia and Flanders (both in Belgium).

He appeared as soloist in numerous concerts in Israel, the USA, Venezuela, Japan, Korea...

Leaving the BRT philharmonic in 1984 allowed him to fully develop his career as a soloist, and play under the 'baton of famous conductors such as Charles Münch, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Gary Bertini, Leonard Bernstein, James Conlon, and many others.

In 1969, Boeykens was appointed professor at the Royal Flemish Music Conservatory of Antwerp.

In 1972 he became professor at the "Académie Internationale d'Été de Nice". Additionally, Walter Boeykens holds assignments at the conservatories of Utrecht, Rotterdam and at the Fontys Conservatory in Tilburg all in the Netherlands. Last but not least, he teaches at the "Cité de la Musique" in Paris, France and at the "Scuola di Alto Perfezionamente Musicale" in Turin in Italy.

In 1981, he founded the Walter Boeykens Clarinet Choir at the Royal Flemish Music Conservatory of Antwerp. In 1987 he was on the jury of the Jeunesses Musicales International Competition in Belgrade. The jury members were:

In 1997 and 2001 he was on the jury of the Carl Nielsen International Music Competitions. In 1997 the jury was composed of:[1]

In 2001, jury members were:

On 23 April 2013 it was announced that Boeykens had died at the age of 75.[2]

Prizes and honours[edit]

Boeykens has been awarded many honours and prizes:

  • 1975 Grand Prix du disque
  • 1988: The fifth "Prudens Van Duyse"-prize
  • 1995: The "Speciale Cultuurprijs van de Gemeente Bornem"
  • Walter Boeykens is cultural ambassador of Flanders since 1995
  • In 1996 he received the Golden Medal of the Flemish government
  • In 1997 Walter Boeykens was knighted by King Albert II of Belgium in recognition of his lifetime achievement in music.
  • In 2007 he was awarded the title "Maestro Honoris Causa" at the "Hogeschool Antwerpen" by the "Antwerp Conservatory Foundation".


Biography on DVD[edit]

Recordings on LP[edit]

Recordings on SACD[edit]

Recordings on CD[edit]

As Soloist[edit]

Boeykens Clarinet Choir[edit]

Live concert in Japan:

Recordings of the Ensemble Walter Boeykens[edit]

Several recordings on the music label Harmonia Mundi.

Conducting a Symphonic Band[edit]

Jazz Recordings[edit]

Works written for him[edit]


  1. ^ "Carl Nielsen International Music Competitions" web site
  2. ^ "Walter Boeykens dead at age 75".
  3. ^ Michael Hersch web site

External links[edit]