In September 2002, Clare Roberts and Roger Bausier, with the assistance of Antonio Vilardi, created this symphonic ensemble from scratch. Clare was the instigator and first manager until 2008.
Roger Bausier was president of the non-profit organisation Presto Vivace responsible for the management of the unit and at the same time, he was Artistic Director and permanent leader of the BPhO until he passed away on 20 August 2012. Antonio Vilardi, Director of the Saint-Michel Theatre in Etterbeek, offered his hospitality from the very beginning for rehearsals and concerts up until 2011. As from November 2011 he produces his concerts at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels and in other venues of the country.
Its aim is to provide young conservatoire graduates an opportunity to put their musical training into practice by playing in a permanent, full-sized symphony orchestra, and thus enhance their chances of becoming professional musicians.
The consequence of the progressive disappearance of the great orchestras on the Belgian scene is that young quality musicians cannot practice their art as orchestra musicians for a long time; this situation can be fatal for their artistic skill. The BPhO developed its own way and became a confirmed reality in the Belgian artistic life.
That's why the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra prepares its concerts in regular and frequent rehearsals; they cover the major works of the classical repertoire as well as more modern ones, with a particular emphasis on Belgian composers. The aim is to keep in movement, at the best of their level, about hundred young talented musicians, supported by a number of seasoned professionals, all of whom are conducted by the BPhO's efficient and dynamic Musical Director, David Navarro Turres. The orchestra also promotes the careers of young Belgian soloists by giving them an opportunity of playing with a large established orchestra.
The orchestra has enhanced its reputation by being chosen to take part in high-profile events such as the annual concerts celebrating the signature of the Treaty of Rome and International Children’s Rights Day, the COFENA concerts in Antwerp, as well as the Royal Brussels Conservatoire’s yearly conducting competition. He gave the peace concert at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels "The Armed Man, a Mass for Peace", in April 2016, after the attacks. He participated in April 2017 at the Balkan Festival where he accompanied star Goran Bregovic in a concert at the Bozar.
The ensemble plays frequently with soloists of international fame, in venues like the Palais des Beaux-Arts, the Royal Conservatoire and the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, the Queen Elisabethhall in Antwerp, the Concertgebouw in Bruges, the Casino/Kursaal in Ostend, the Cultureel Centrum van Hasselt, the Théâtre Royal de Namur, het Stadsschouwburg van Kortrijk, and Le Nouveau Siècle in Lille or the Pamais des Congrès in Paris.
The members of the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra hail from twenty three countries and four continents, with a strong Belgian contingent drawn from all three regions and both linguistic entities. They are brought together by their love of music and their belief in its power to foster peace and harmony between peoples and communities.
The Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra is always willing to consider proposals for future performance opportunities, whether as a full orchestra or in smaller formations, for official events or for private functions organised by corporations, societies etc., and is keen to bring its message of social and cultural progress to a wider audience.
Since the death of permanent conductor, Roger BAUSIER in August 2012, two leaders share the task of conducting the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra: Thanos ADAMOPOULOS and David NAVARRO TURRES. Since 1/1/2014, David NAVARRO TURRES is the principal conductor and musical adviser of the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra.
The purpose of the association “Presto Vivace”, which manages the BPhO, is to provide young musicians, especially Conservatory students, the chance to acquire or deepen their experience in the symphonic repertoire within an orchestral ensemble and surrounded by famous ex-professionals. It will so promote symphonic, orchestral or chamber music through activities or events organized for social, charitable and/or cultural purposes.
Its headquarters are located at 38, rue Général Patton, 1050 Brussels.
Company number : 0480.611.145
The composition of the Board is as follows:
- Mr Klaus Heinemann, Président
- Ms Clare Roberts
- Mr Hugues Van Renterghem, intendant
- Mr Loeurng Hiroshi
- Ms Claire Doucet