Orchestras and conductors
Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie
In 1958, Lola Bobesco created “Les Solistes de Bruxelles” [Brussels Soloists], renamed “Ensemble d’archets Eugène Ysaÿe” [Eugène Ysaÿe String Ensemble], now known as the ‘Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie’ [Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonia]. Following the last Music Directors, Augustin Dumay (2003-2013) and Frank Braley (2014-2019), Vahan Mardirossian took the baton to continue their work of excellence.
The orchestra has worked together regularly with the biggest names in music on the most important international stages, as well as performing regularly in Mons, the Cultural Capital of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation and the European Capital of Culture 2015 : José Van Dam, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Aldo Ciccolini, Mischa Maisky, Maurice André, Arthur Grumiaux, Philippe Hirschhorn, Georges Octors, Jean-Pierre Wallez, Gidon Kremer, Louis Lortie, Jian Wang, Ivry Gitlis, Antoine Tamestit, Henri Demarquette, Richard Galliano, the Modigliani Quartet, Jean-Philippe Collard, Gérard Caussé, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Augustin Dumay, Maria-João Pires ; in Paris, Beijing, Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Bucharest, Bayreuth, Munich, Luxembourg, Zurich, Geneva, Saint Petersburg, Brussels, etc.
The orchestra is a regular partner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition since more than twenty years, the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, and many Belgian and international music festivals. The Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonia performs often under the direction of Jean-François Chamberlan, its principal violinist.
In Mons, with Mars (Mons Arts de la Scène) [Mons Performing Arts], and the support of the City of Mons, the orchestra gives concerts with a diversified and original repertoire. It presents concerts for young audiences and offers services to young artists from the Mons Academy of Music and ARTS2 (École Supérieure des Arts).
  • Biography
More info
Vahan Mardirossian
After spending nine years at the head of the Caen Orchestra (2010-2019), Vahan Mardirossian was appointed Chief Conductor of the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong in September 2019 and Music Director of the Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonia in January 2020. He has also been Music Director of the National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia since 2011.
Internationally renowned pianist and conductor, Vahan Mardirossian has been combining his two passions for several years by simultaneously playing and conducting piano concertos (including Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Grieg and Shostakovich). As a soloist, he has performed under the direction of great conductors such as Kurt Masur, Paavo Järvi, Yutaka Sado, John Axelrod and Yuri Ahronovith. He has also recorded several CDs of Schubert, Brahms, Bach, Händel, Beethoven, Tanguy, and Mulsant.
Meeting Kurt Masur was a decisive point in Vahan Mardirossian’s working life. He was invited by Masur to conduct the Manhattan School Orchestra at an orchestra conducting seminar in New York. This opportunity was the start of his conducting career.
In 2005, Vahan Mardirossian founded the ‘Maestria’ orchestra, performing throughout France, including in Paris at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and in Toulouse at the Halle aux Grains.
He is regularly invited to conduct prestigious orchestras such as the NHK Symphony Orchestra, the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, the National Orchestra of the Pays de la Loire, the Sanremo Sinfonica Orchestra, the Royal Seville Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonie Südwestfalen and the Orchestre Colonne.
He has collaborated with internationally renowned soloists including Ivry Gitlis, Alexander Markov, Augustin Dumay, Akiko Suwanai, Sergeï Babayan, Alexandre Kantorow, Lars Vogt, Vladimir Sverdlov-Ashkenazy, Diemut Poppen, Brigitte Engerer, Xavier Phillips, Kun Woo Paik, Richard Galliano, Viktoria Postnikova, Daishin Kashimoto, Sergueï Nakariakov, Gary Hoffmann, Alexander Chaushian, Roland Pidoux, Alexandra Soumm, Alexander Ghindin, Igor Tchetuev, Polina Leschenko, Ashley Wass, Jean-Marc Phillips-Varjabedian, le Trio Wanderer, Jean-Claude Pennetier, Jacques Rouvier, Svetlin Roussev, Marc Coppey, Pavel Vernikov, Nicolas Dautricourt, Stéphane Béchy, Guy Touvron and Stéphanie-Marie Degand.
His wide repertoire ranges from baroque masterpieces to contemporary works (including Tanguy, Saariaho, Rautavaara, Hersant, Dutilleux, Rihm, Kagel, Crumb, Ligeti, Mulsant and Canat de Chizy).

  • Biography
More info
Belgian National Orchestra
Founded in 1936, the Belgian National Orchestra is in permanent residence at Bozar. Since September 2022, the orchestra has been under the direction of chief conductor Antony Hermus, with Roberto González-Monjas as guest conductor and Michael Schønwandt as associate conductor. The Belgian National Orchestra performs alongside renowned soloists such as Hilary Hahn, Thomas Hampson, Leif Ove Andsnes, Víkingur Ólafsson, Sergey Khachatryan and Truls Mørk. It is interested in the new generation of listeners, and doesn’t shy away from innovative projects such as its collaboration with pop-rock artist Ozark Henry or recently with Stromae on his latest album Multitude. Its discography, released mainly on the Fuga Libera label, enjoys international recognition and includes, among others, six recordings made under the direction of one of its former conductors, Walter Weller.
The Belgian National Orchestra is supported by the Belgian federal government’s Tax Shelter, the National Lottery and Casa Kafka Pictures.

  • Biography
More info
Antony Hermus
Antony Hermus is the chief conductor of the Belgian National Orchestra and principal guest conductor of the Noord Nederlands Orkest and Opera North based in Leeds, England. After studying piano with Jacques de Tiège and conducting with Jac van Steen and George Fritzsch, he began his career at Theater Hagen, where he quickly rose from rehearsal director to musical director. From 2009 to 2015, Antony Hermus was Music Director at Dessau, where he conducted his first Ring cycle. For his work at Dessau, he was named “Conductor of the Year” for three consecutive years by the German magazine Opernwelt. Today, Antony Hermus conducts all the major Dutch orchestras. He is also in great demand as a guest conductor outside the Netherlands : on the one hand for opera productions (Stuttgart, Strasbourg, Göteborg, Komische Oper Berlin, Opéra de Paris studio, Essen and the Nederlandse Reisopera), on the other for concert engagements (Royal Philharmonic, BBC Scottish and Danish National Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lyon, Bamberg Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, Oregon Symphony). Antony Hermus is guest professor at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and artistic advisor to the Nederlandse Nationaal Jeugdorkest.


  • Biography
More info
Relive the performances of Violin 2024
The Competition's CD's
This site uses cookies to provide you with the best experience possible.
By clicking on « ACCEPT » or continuing to browse the site, you accept the use of cookies on your web browser. For more information about our cookie policy and the different types of cookies used, click on Learn more