Brussels Philharmonic -the Orchestra of Flanders (formerly the The Vlaams Radio Orkest), founded in 1935 as a studio ensemble under the aegis of the public broadcasting network, is today a modern, flexible symphony orchestra with a predilection for the past but with its sights resolutely set on the future.
As a symphony orchestra that has been in existence since 1935, we cherish our rich history. At the same time, we welcome the opportunities that lie in the future, and join tradition to a taste for renewal. Our home venue, the Flagey building, serves as a solid base from which to carry out all our activities in Brussels, Flanders and beyond.
Thanks to the virtuosity of our musicians, we are a flexible orchestra with a highly diverse repertoire: from the romantic to the contemporary, from conceptual music to film music, from the great classics to unexpected cross-overs. Both established artists and new talent find in the orchestra an enthusiastic partner for the most varied musical projects.
Offering the chance to discover a wide range of old and new forms of ‘classical’ music, putting the orchestra forward both literally and figuratively, in a variety of environments, making links to other art forms: these are but a few of the types of bridges which the orchestra is actively engaged in building.
Above all, we seek to move our audience with our performances, to all of which we bring the same passion and care. Bringing people together around music and turning the experience of a live concert into an extraordinary event remain at the heart of our endeavours. In all of this, the orchestra’s chief conductor and artistic director, Michel Tabachnik, plays an important role.
The orchestra was established in 1935 under the aegis of the public broadcasting network. In 1998, it began its independent existence as the Vlaams Radio Orkest (Flemish Radio Orchestra). From 2008 onwards, its new name Brussels Philharmonic – the orchestra of Flanders has highlighted its close ties both to its home city, Brussels, and to public broadcasting.
The great 20th century repertoire, contemporary music and film music: the Brussels Philharmonic – the orchestra of Flanders is like a musical chameleon in the way it combines the most diverse styles for a wide audience. In each programme, the orchestra works with soloists and guest conductors who enrich the orchestra with their own vision and experience.
The programme of the Brussels Philharmonic – the orchestra of Flanders is centred on a number of series offered in Brussels, both at Flagey, where the ensemble also rehearses, and at the Centre for Fine Arts. In addition, the orchestra is also at home in Flanders, appearing both at major venues (the Concertgebouw in Bruges, de Singel and Queen Elisabeth Concert Hall in Antwerp, De Bijloke in Ghent and the Kursaal in Ostend) and in important cultural centres (Leuven, Hasselt, Roeselare, Turnhout). The orchestra has also attained international renown, as a result of which it enjoys a base in Paris (Cité de la musique and Salle Pleyel) and gives regular concerts in the Netherlands (the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, De Doelen in Rotterdam).
Brussels Philharmonic – the orchestra of Flanders is a permanent partner of the Festival of Flanders, Ars Musica and the Flanders International Film Festival - Ghent, and works regularly with the Royal Ballet of Flanders.
The ties with public broadcasting remain strong: the orchestra works closely with radio and television for both recordings and events. In addition, the Brussels Philharmonic – the orchestra of Flanders participates in the classicLive.com network, which makes various concerts available via live streaming. The digital culture channel Exqi also carries a selection of its concerts, accompanied by background reports.
Together with various partners, the Brussels Philharmonic – the orchestra of Flanders collaborates on a variety of CD series: with the Flemish classical music radio station Klara on a number of Flemish composers, with the Glossa label on the important 20th century repertoire, and with the Flanders International Film Festival - Ghent on major composers of film music.
The Brussels Philharmonic – Flemish Radio Orchestra is an institution of the Flemish Community and receives funds from the National Lottery. Its media partners are Klara, De Morgen and Roularta.