Jan Michiels &Belgian National Orchestra, dir. Jac van Steen
Thursday 15 February 2024 (20:00) Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels
Jan Michiels, soloist
Belgian National Orchestra

This fourth edition of the Belgian Music Days, a biennial festival dedicated to Belgian composers, starts with Le visioni di paura ("Visions of Fear") by this season’s composer Wim Henderickx. The new work that will be presented in world premiere next is currently being written by the promising young pianist and composer Apolline Jesupret. She studied at the Royal Conservatory of Mons.

In early 2023, as part of a collaboration with the Royal Library of Belgium (KBR), a manuscript by the famous Belgian violinist and composer Eugène Ysaÿe containing the Ouverture sur des thèmes d'Atala was discovered in the Bozar archives. Eugène Ysaÿe composed this work in 1919 as a tribute to his late brother Théo, a pianist and composer, inspired by a cantata the latter had dedicated to him in 1892. The work was performed only once - in Cincinnati in 1920, conducted by the composer - and will receive its European premiere at this concert.

Human voices only, written in 2014, is the first orchestral work by Belgian composer and avant-garde jazz pianist Kris Defoort. He found the inspiration for this work in Morocco. With numerous references to early 20th century composers such as Debussy, Ravel, Satie and Stravinsky, Kris Defoort allows the instruments of the orchestra to play through the various facets of the human voice, evoking a never-ending Arabic melody. The concert will conclude with pianist Jan Michiels performing a short piano concerto by Jacqueline Fontyn. She wrote Rivages Solitaires ("Lonely Banks") in 1989.

Wim Henderickx : Le visioni di paura (Visions of Fear)
Apolline Jesupret : Bleue, tableau symphonique (World Premiere, commisioned by Ars Musica)
Eugène Ysaÿe : Ouverture sur des thèmes d’Atala (European Premiere)
Kris Defoort : Human Voices Only
Jacqueline Fontyn : Piano Concerto "Rivages solitaires"

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