Message from the Artistic Director

Welcome to the 9th year of Festival Resonances!

This year at Resonances we will be embarking on a very Belgian adventure!
We will be presenting and giving a special focus on Belgian composers who will be performed alongside some of the more known masterpieces of the chamber music repertoire.

In my opinion, there are many Belgian composers and compositions which deserve to be more performed, and although we will not, by any means, be covering all of them, we do hope to give a taste of the intense emotion and beauty coming from these beautiful Belgian gems!
Composers such as Joseph Jongen, Albert Huybrechts, Guillame Lekeu, François Rasse, Eugène Ysaye, Joseph Ryelandt, César Franck and Pierre Bartholomée will all be heard at Resonances this year.

We will be opening the festival on the 3rd May in Ottignies with a mainly Belgian programme. This will include works by Joseph Jongen, François Rasse, Milhaud and Guillaume Lekeu.

On Friday 4th May, we will break free from the Belgian theme bringing our audience an absolute classic chamber music evening of Mozart, Schumann and Brahms!

On Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th May there will be two ‘focus on Belgium’ concerts featuring the composers mentioned above. Philippe Graffin will perform some Ysaye as well as the stunning sonata for violin and piano by Lekeu who tragically died at the tender age of 24.

Saturday evening will be dedicated to the prodigal composers; Mozart, Korngold and Lekeu.
Mozarts G minor string quartet is one of the most sublime and greatest chamber music works ever written and we are very happy to be performing this for the first time at Resonances!

César Franck is of-course the most well-known Belgian composer of all, and we could not have a Belgian theme without a performance of his outstanding piano quintet. But a lesser-known piece which will be heard on the 6th May, is Franck’s powerfully intense piano trio concertante opus 1 no.1 which he composed when he was only eighteen years of age.
The Final concert will also feature one of the late string quartets of Ludwig van Beethoven, who did after all have some Belgian blood in him! Beethoven’s grand-father came from Mechelen in Belgium and so we decided to willingly include this giant of chamber music in this year’s Belgian theme!!

This year, for the first time Festival Resonances will be launching a new initiative for students that will take place separately from the festival. This ‘Resonances academy’ will be held at the chateau just a few weeks before the festival in April. The idea was inspired by the enthusiasm of the masterclasses during the Festival Resonances. Since the festival week is very much devoted to rehearsals, it is difficult to find enough time for the masterclasses, so we decided to set up a separate week.

We wanted to create an opportunity for students to get to know some of the great masterpieces of the chamber music repertoire on a profound level, guided by a few Resonances musicians. The young musicians will immerse themselves in the repertoire for a week and have plenty of moments to perform their pieces at the end of the week.
It will be a chance to meet and play with many different people from all over Europe in different formations and to be lead by internationally renowned chamber musicians who will join them in some groups and rehearse alongside them.
We are very excited to launch this new event!

But as always at the festival there will be a masterclass moment on Friday 4th May preceding the concert at chateau Halloy.

As always, our amazing team of volunteers will be providing food and drink which will be available between the concerts. Come and join the musicians and music-lovers inside and outside the concert-barn!

A huge thanks to our Festival Friends, sponsors and to the Federation Wallonie who will be subsidising the festival for the next three years. Without all of you Resonances cannot exist!
Thank you to the wonderful team of volunteers who keep us all in order and give their time and energy for the love of music!!
We are all looking forward to discovering the often hidden delights of Belgian chamber music repertoire!

Amy Norrington

Amy Norrington