Program of the summer 2017
The International Festival of the Mimimes Church will take place
from the monday 3st of July to thursday 31th of August 2017
What is the
International Festival of the Minimes Church?
1 - History and goals of the festival
In the summer of 1982, Father Jacques Van der Biest travelled to Stockholm by night train for a purely touristic trip. All travelers and tourists were greeted by students from the local Conservatory. They played during the tiresome days relaxing music in the cathedral for free.
The ideas were simple: a short concert by young talents who would play for free, making the entry fee for the concert free as well. A vast range of music from all times could be heard throughout these concerts.
The abbot being a great fan of music thought the idea was great and decided to create a similar festival in Brussels in his church of the Minims. But putting the idea into practice was not simple. A serious organization is needed in order to take care of all the tasks. Therefore, in 1986 the Abbot, assisted by his staff, launched this concept in Belgium. The idea is still working after nearly 28 years.
The idea is to have free, short (35 minutes long) concerts played by talented musicians who would start at 12:15 every day during the months of July and August.
In May 2012, the “Centre d'Oeuvre de Merode”, in which the priest is a very important member, took over the organisation of the festival. They entrusted the artistic management to Jacques Vanherenthals.
What are the goals of the festival?
Young musicians-virtuoso, from around the world, can hold concerts in a magnificent building. This is an opportunity for them. They can improve their talents and make themselves known throughout the festival.
Spectators can admire them and support them with their work.They can listen to high quality music with various genres in the Minimes. This beautiful 18th century church possesses a certain charm, poetry and serenity that no other concert hall can offer. The acoustics is also remarkable and very unique.
Entrante free of charges
Artistic manager Professor Jacques Vanherenthals
Jacques Vanherenthals began his career as a musician at the Antwerp Opera (now the Flanders Opera) in 1969 as a double bass player. In 1973 he was taken on by the RTBF Symphony Orchestra in Brussels, where he worked for fifteen years.
His teaching activities also included the post of assistant lecturer for chamber music at the Brussels Royal Conservatoire, a position he held from 1984 to 2006.
From 1987 to 2005 he was artistic director and permanent conductor of the "Choir and Orchestra of the Chapel
of the Minims" ensemble, with which he conducted more than 160 cantatas and all the great choral works by Johann Sebastian Bach, in performances given in Brussels.
In 1988 he took up the post of director of the Academy of Nivelles and in 1989 he took over the running of the Academy of Music, Dance and Spoken Arts in Forest (Brussels), whose team of teaching staff he managed
Parallel to his activities as a virtuoso, he composed many works for the double bass and in 1982 created the Brussels Double Bass Quartet,with which he gave numerous concerts in Belgiumand abroad over a period of ten years.
The concerts in Belgium included 300 for the Jeunesses musicales (an organisation promoting musical activities for young people), whilst on the international scene
the quartet played in Louisiana, Quebec, Ontario,
France and Italy.
His training as a conductor led him to create the Brussels Orchestral Ensemble (Ensemble Orchestral de Bruxelles
– EOB) in 1994, with the cooperation of double bass player Eric Demesmaeker and musicologist Richard Dehon. Currently he is the ensemble's permanent conductor
and is responsible for the artistic direction.
With his ensemble, Jacques Vanherenthals collaborates with great soloists such as José Van Dam, François René Duchable, Aga Winska, Julia Migenes and Alain Carré, as well as the prestigious school of the Cadre Noir of Saumur, international festivals and a great many young artists who have been able to embark on their career thanks to these performances.
Several CDs to his name bear witness to the quality of his work, both as a conductor and a composer.
2 - Le Festival International de l'Eglise des Minimes Brussels 2017