Stéphane Denève: "I hope that our epic season 19/20 will allow our beloved music to reveal its most glorious power: to be the shortest way from one heart to another."

Dear friends,

When Mahler revised his Symphony n°1, four years after its 1889 premiere in Budapest, it became a five-movement “tone poem in symphonic form” about a heroic individual, borrowing the title “Titan” from Jean Paul’s novel. But reaching its final form as his “First Symphony” in 1896, all the titles and narrative associations where removed from the score.

Even though the original program was dropped, the heroism still radiates from the score itself. In all of his symphonies, Mahler has been able to build epic constructions, reflecting his visionary, daring, certainly bigger than life thinking. This urgent need to compose, this eager and limitless trying and striving in order to create, might be seen as the core of the artistic process. Creating can be perceived as a courageous act in itself, and the power of its results can touch those who listen to and experience it deeply.

During this season, I invite you again to join us for our concerts and to be inspired by the power of music. You will be able to experience the greatness of Mahler’s Symphony n°1, 5 and 6, the political power of Shostakovich’s 10th, or the tour the force of Boris Giltburg performing the integral Beethoven Piano Concerti during the Flagey Piano Days.

I would love for you to meet the tragic heroes in Grieg’s Peer Gynt or Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique, to feel hope thanks to Beethoven’s monumental 9th Symphony, or in Fazil Say’s cello concerto “Never Give Up”, paired with Strauss’ Heldenleben. You will meet some of the musical heroes of tomorrow too: the young and energetic musicians of our Brussels Young Philharmonic Boenk! and Youth Orchestra Flanders, the upcoming composers whose pieces will be performed during the ['tactus] workshop, or the new generation of pianists who we will accompany during the Queen Elisabeth Competition.

I hope that our epic season 19/20 will inspire you, empower you, and also allow our beloved music to reveal its most glorious power: to be the shortest way from one heart to another...


- Stéphane Denève, music director

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