Belgian music: The Rencontres Musicales Internationales d’Enghien


The latest in our Belgian music articles highlights a very special annual event.

“The Rencontres Musicales Internationales d’Enghien, a wonderful event held in a beautiful place. This festival is remarkable not only for the education of young musicians, but also for what it says about the future of our musical life.” — Seiji Ozawa

This testimonial from acclaimed conductor Seiji Ozawa sums up the spirit of the Rencontres Musicales Internationales d’Enghien and the key aim of the initiative: to spark encounters between gifted students and internationally renowned professors in an environment conducive to relaxation and meditation.

The Master Classes consist of two weeks of collective lessons attended by young musicians and vocalists eager to perfect their art under the guidance of internationally renowned professors.

The Master Classes offer high-level teaching thanks to rigorous selection of both students and faculty members. They all are recruited from conservatories around the world. Lessons are conducted in the following disciplines: voice, violin, viola, cello, piano and chamber music. Ten to fifteen musicians participate in each class. Every student performs, receives feedback from the maestro and observes classmates’ lessons.

The Rencontres give world-renowned artists the chance to share their experience while offering gifted students the benefit of their knowledge and instruction. They foster a new vision of music grounded in an educational and artistic approach.

The beautiful surroundings of the Château d’Enghien and its park, shaped by history and part of a region with a long-standing tradition of cultural and linguistic exchanges, will form the backdrop to the 2020 Enghien International Musical Encounters Summer Session.

The Château d’Enghien was commissioned by the d’Arenberg family and built on an orangerie. In 1907, Baron François Empain purchased the park and started construction work on the Château. The central structure was finished in 1913, and the two wings added in 1926. The manor was designed by the architect Alexandre Marcel, who also participated in building the Egyptian city of Heliopolis for the Empain family, as well as the family’s residence in Egypt (Hindu Palace). The exceptional park and the Château itself have been owned by the municipality of Enghien since 1986.

“The gardens of Enghien are the most beautiful and extraordinary place in the world, but describing them would take a lifetime.” (Memoirs of Mademoiselle de Montpensier).

“This pristine site offers everyone excellent working conditions, free from noise yet surrounded by sound.” — Olivier Roberti

Master Classes are open to the public from August 24 to the 27, free of charge.

Photos: The Rencontres Musicales Internationales d’Enghien

See more things to do and see in our In Belgium pages.