Host a candidate
Live the unique and exciting experience of the Competition by hosting a candidate.

Every year around 70 Belgian families open their doors wide to offer the candidates of the Queen Elisabeth Competition a warm home during their participation. Not only is this support invaluable for the candidates, together with the host families they also create memories that last a lifetime.

The story of a host family :

"Hosting a candidate for the Queen Elisabeth Competition is an inestimably rich and gratifying experience. From the moment a host family meets the young musician at the airport or train station we begin to build a relationship, the depth of which can be astonishing to first-time hosts. Often the candidate arrives somewhat exhausted from travel and from last minute preparations at home. We quickly step into our role of support, anticipating his or her needs.

The first order of business is to bring the candidate to the competition headquarters to sign in, where we may find ourselves in the roles of interpreter and guide. This is also the moment when candidates test the acoustics of the hall. Each may take the stage for just five minutes. As notes soar around the mostly empty hall, we begin to feel the tension, excitement and beauty of the contest to come.

Our next role is that of host, creating a comfortable home for our candidate. For these young-adult musicians this contest time can be most trying, a test of their years of hard work and study, a defining moment in their musical careers. We become a “family” for them, nourishing them with good food, relaxing distractions and warm friendship. We strive to understand them and to give them whatever support they need so they can devote all their energy and skill to a fantastic performance.

Through all the competition events - from the excitement of the drawing of lots to determine performance order, the following reception when candidates and host families meet old friends and new, the days of contest-concerts, to the late evening announcement of who will progress to the next round - host families stand behind our candidates. It is intensely rewarding, sometimes excruciatingly stressful. It always feels worthwhile.

We never know how long a candidate will be with us. Whether he or she only spends ten days here, or goes on to a further round, there will always come a time to say goodbye. The relationships stay with us, though. We keep in contact in different ways, we enjoy following their evolving careers.

There is more that is wonderful about being part of the Queen Elisabeth Competition through hosting. There is the warm and welcoming spirit of the Competition staff, the pleasure of reconnecting with them each year. There is the wonder of seeing our own children and friends connect with the candidates and their extraordinary concert repertoire. And there is the powerful feeling of community when we are together in the concert hall. All of us: host families, expert organisers, skilful media, world renowned jury members, esteemed patrons, devoted public - focused in unison on creating and sustaining a space for these brilliant young musicians to flourish."


Want to become a host family?

In 2023, the Competition will be dedicated to the voice. If you have the space necessary to host a candidate, do not hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to explain how it works to receive a candidate at your home during the Competition.

We are also always looking for host families who have a good quality piano, on the one hand for the pianists of the piano competition itself, on the other hand for the pianist that accompany the candidates of the other three competition disciplines. The next piano competition will be organised in 2025.

Contact : Patricia Breeus (+32 2 213 40 50)

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