Brussels lunch concerts turn 75 years old


Did you know that, for the past 75 years, Brussels has been the scene of lunchtime classical music concerts?

The first lunchtime concert occurred on 15 January 1948, organized by Sara Huysmans, the daughter of a politician. They grew to be such a success that King Baudouin even celebrated his 60th birthday with a lunchtime concert.

The concerts, which spanned from baroque music to contemporary chamber music, have always aimed to put Belgian composers in the spotlight. They take place on Thursdays at the Musical Instruments Museum.

Various concerts were organised on the day of the 75th anniversary, at Bozar and at the Musical Instruments Museum, two of Brussels’ major cultural institutions. After performances by pianist Jozef De Beenhouwer and MNM Trio at the latter, the celebration culminated in a performance of the Beethoven septet – the same piece that kicked off this concert series 75 years ago.

The coming concerts for the season promise to be equally interesting, with performers ranging from a solo accordionist to string quartets.

If you want to get immersed in Belgian chamber music, you should attend a lunchtime concert or read up on some Belgian composers, such as Adolphe Biarent, or the more recent pianist Jef Neve, who is active in both jazz and classical music.

We mentioned him above, but you might also be surprised to learn that none other than Ludwig van Beethoven had Belgian roots.