Opened in 1939, the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, younger than ever, celebrates its 75th birthday throughout 2014! The mission of the Music Chapel, which has been a public interest foundation since 2009, has been developed along six principal lines: high-level training with Masters in Residence – currently Augustin Dumay, Maria João Pires, José van Dam, Abdel Rahman El Bacha, Gary Hoffman and the Artemis Quartet; professional development through a network of cultural partners in Belgium and around the world; promotion of young artists; the Artists Village; the social and artistic project Equinox under the artistic direction of Maria João Pires; and a genuine high-quality infrastructure.
The visionary dream of Queen Elisabeth and Eugène Ysaye is now in full bloom. The Music Chapel thrives on the enthusiasm of the young people who live there, in what unites them and distinguishes them from each other, all different and yet inspired by the same passion, music. At the Music Chapel, young people and teachers constantly reinvent themselves, while preserving the values that make this institution a genuine laboratory for life and creativity.
In Belgium, a number of major events in the most important concert halls – from La Monnaie to Flagey, and including Bozar, the Liège Royal Philharmonic, Les Musicales de Beloeil and deSingel – punctuate this anniversary year. It begins with Les Mamelles de Tirésias, the first opera of Francis Poulenc, co-produced with La Monnaie, with a musical arrangement provided by Emily Hindrichs based on the outlines of the adaptation for two pianos by Benjamin Britten. This anniversary then offers a series of major concerts by the teachers and soloists in residence at the Music Chapel, accompanied by in particular the Orchestre National de Belgique, the Liège Royal Philharmonic, the Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, the Brussels Philharmonic, deFilharmonie (the Royal Flemish Philharmonic), , the Vlaams Radio Koor and the Orchestre National de Lille. At the beginning of December, it will be Flagey’s turn to host the now-traditional Music Chapel Festival, devoted this year to Beethoven.
The first stone was laid at the construction site for the Music Chapel’s New Building extension in September 2013: a brand-new building in harmony with the current property, fulfilling the needs of the constantly-growing activity in this laboratory for life and musical creativity, unique in Europe. Quite naturally, the opening of the New Building will close this great anniversary year.