Bernard Foccroulle, President of the jury of the Voice Competition
 
23/01/2023

Following the departure of Arie Van Lysebeth and the appointment of Gilles Ledure at the head of the Queen Elisabeth Competition jury, Bernard Foccroulle has been designated as Chairman of the Jury for the 2023 voice session. Organist, composer, opera director, teacher, author ; discover below the impressive career of the Liège native, born in 1953.


Organist

Bernard Foccroulle began his international career as an organist in the mid-70s, playing a wide range of repertoire from Renaissance to Contemporary Music. He has performed many world premieres of composers such as Philippe Boesmans, Brian Ferneyhough, Betsy Jolas, Xavier Darasse, Jonathan Harvey and Pascal Dusapin.

Recordings

In the 1980s, he was a founder member of the Ricercar Consort, devoted mainly to German baroque music. His discography as a soloist includes about fifty CDs. He recorded the complete organ works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Dietrich Buxtehude and Matthias Weckmann for the Ricercar label. For these recordings, he carefully chose the most beautifully preserved historic instruments. His albums were awarded with numerous prizes, including the Diapason d’Or and the Grand Prix de l’Académie Charles Cros for Buxtehude’s complete organ works in 2007. His latest recording, released by Ricercar, contains the complete works of Francisco Correa de Arauxo, a Sevillian composer of the first half of the 17th century.

Opera director

Bernard Foccroulle became director of the Brussels opera house La Monnaie in 1992, holding this position until 2007. He continued as director of the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence from 2007 until 2018. In 2017, he got the Leadership Award at the International Opera Awards in London.

Teacher

From 1978 to 1990 he taught musical analysis at the Liège Conservatoire and from 2010 to 2019 he has been professor of Organ at the Conservatoire Royal de Musique in Brussels. He is Doctor Honoris Causa of the Montréal University and Aix-Marseille Université.

Other projects

Another important aspect of Bernard Foccroulle’s work is the combination of organ music with other art forms, for example his collaboration with choreographers Jan Fabre and Salva Sanchis and video artists (Lynette Wallworth).

Composer

Bernard Foccroulle has written works for soprano and orchestra (Am Rande der Nacht after Rilke), for baritone and chamber music ensemble (Due after De Luca), for soprano, baritone and chamber music ensemble (E vidi quattro stelle after Dante’s Purgatorio), soprano and piano (Quatre mélodies d’après Verlaine). Zauberland, a cycle of melodies for soprano and piano on poems by Martin Crimp has been premiered at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris in 2019, staged by Katie Mitchell.
He has also composed a cycle of pieces for historic organs (CD AEON, Diapason d’Or 2016) and Elegy for Trisha for cello and organ (CD Fuga Libera). His composition Le Journal d’Hélène Berr will be premiered in France in May 2023, and his opera Cassandra at la Monnaie in September 2023.

Author

He is the author of La naissance de l’individu dans l’art (Grasset, 2003), which was written in collaboration with Robert Legros and Tzvetan Todorov. He also published two books made of interviews : Entre passion et résistance (Labor, 2005) and Faire vivre l’opéra, un art qui donne sens au monde (Actes Sud, 2018).


In this video, Bernard Foccroulle discusses his latest recording :



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