And here we go for a new academic year! 55 Soloists in residence, 23 different nationalities… During the Academic Opening Session last Tuesday, 7.10.14, Bernard de Launoit gave his welcoming speech to the 2014-15 soloists in residence, which is copied herebelow. 7.10.2014: Opening Year Address Bernard de Launoit Music Chapel Good afternoon to all of you and welcome to the Music Chapel! The Music Chapel refers to a great lady, the Queen Elisabeth of Belgium, who played a strong role in the development of the arts in Belgium between the two world wars. She inspired, with a great artist, the violinist Eugène Isaÿe, this institution. Then why is it called the chapel ? It refers to the artistic sense of “Capella” in Italian or “Kapell” in german, as in “Kapellmeister” for example… The Music Chapel is a site and a building, founded in 1939 (we are celebrating the 75th anniversary) and also classified by the authorities as a historical monument 20 years ago. The little “Villa Medici”, as it was named by a French journalist in 1939, is growing. And you are all already in residence or arriving to celebrate an important moment in the history of the Chapel: the extension of its facilities, a reorganization that began ten years ago and a project that has been both particularly innovative and extremely demanding. The new building, 2100m2, will increase the capacity of residence (20 studios), of music studios (two small ones, 50m2 and one concert hall of max 250 seats) and finally all the common and living spaces for you and also for our clients and audience. (Foyer, artist village, terrasses,….) But the Music Chapel is more than that: it is a concept. We are trying – modestly, but with much passion and tremendous energy – to facilitate the transmission between generations and to reach a growing local and international audience.This laboratory, in both a literal and figurative sense, resembles a hive in which young artists, masters, professors, guest artists, soloists, chamber-music players and orchestral ensembles are coming and will come more together and develop, in the coming years, musical projects of a very high quality. The Chapel has grown rapidly the last ten years thanks to the great artists Masters in Residence who have given us their full support throughout this new beginning; thanks to you, young musicians who have travelled and come here from the four corners of the world; thanks to the Belgian world of music, which is following us closely; and lastly, thanks to a highly motivated team since 2004.This team is here to help you to grow and develop your own project with us. All the artists teaching and transmitting in this institution are great artists, very commited to our project and one major key of the success the last years was their strong involvement in the project and its developpement.As you know, we extended our artistic disciplines from 3 in 2004 to 5 in 2011 with the arrival of the cello. Maria João Pires, the Artemis Quartet, José van Dam, Augustin Dumay and Gary Hoffman are the artistic pillars of our project today. To complete the artistic offer, we will announce in the next days or weeks the arrival of a new master in residence in charge of a small viola section and of a transversal chamber music project between disciplines. You will all be offered to develop some chamber music with your colleagues in residence. In term of dissemination, I would like also to let you know we are working a lot ahead to prepare our own productions such as our annual Music Chapel festival, our gala concert, the “fête de la musique” or any other important project abroad. Some of you will be asked to participate to these main concerts, festivals and productions. You will have to update permanently your programs, in agreement with your master in residence. Europe is a continent that deserves a breath of fresh air. Classical music has a role to play in this regard: it is up to us to preserve, disseminate and energize our cultural and intergenerational heritage, while ensuring the transmission between age groups! This intangible heritage is worth a lot more than its economic value. On behalf of all those who work to give life to the Music Chapel, thank you for your presence this year and I wish you all a very pleasant stay and work with us !