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Minimes Festival

Minimes Festival

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Nieuw pictures of the festival at the end of this blog
Festival des Minimes 2018
Program of the week

Week 1 july


Program of the summer 2018 click here

The 2016 festival will start in a few months. Every concerts will happen in the beautiful church of the Minimes.The particular acoustics of this church makes de concerts "different" than those of "sanitized" classical concert halls that are found everywhere.
Our artistical manager Jacques Vanherenthals has spoiled you this year. As you will see, the program is varied and we think everyone will find what he likes.
You will hear classical music of all periods, world music, singing, jazz and organ.
For organ lovers, every Wednesday there will be a concert. For those who do not know, Minimes Church have the oldest organs in Brussels. It is a marvel to listen to this beautiful instrument.
All musicians of the festival live in Belgium. They all come out of conservatories with very good grades. For the coach, we welcome the great musical personalities who also play at the festival. It is highly stimulating for these young peoples.
The International Festival of Minimes Church, begin to be welknown abroad too. Thus, a great Russian Philharmonic has offered to come to our festival.He will play the final concert on August 30.

The International Festival of the Mimimes Church will take place

from the monday 2 of July to friday 31th of August 2018


The price?
These concerts are free and those who wish to support the musicians and our activities will have the opportunity to make a small donation to the Centre d'Oeuvre de Merode.
Where and when?
Throughout July and August, these concerts will take place in the church of the Minimes, 62, rue des Minimes in Brussels.(Not the week-ends) at 12:00 to 12:40
Duration of the concerts :  30 -40minutes


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

until 2010.

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 - The Festival des Minimes Brussels 2018

Your International Festival of the Minimes Church will start on
monday 2 juily and end on friday  31 août 2018.
These concerts will append in the Minimes Church  (62, rue des Minimes à Bruxelles) every working days (not the Week-End) at 12h00 - duration 40 minutes.
The concerts are free and those who wish to support the artists and this activity are welcome to make a small donation to the Centre d'Oeuvres de Merode.


Management of the Festival International de l'église des Minimes
Founder and director :
Jacques Van der Biest
President : 
Amaury de Merode
Artistic manager  : 
Jacques Vanherenthals
Administration : 
Marjana Mandi
Aurèle de Merode
Walter Van Damme
Available during the Festival
Comité Général d'Action des Marolles ( CGAM)
Organization of the material of the church : 
The Centre d'Oeuvres de Merode and the Minimes
Those who helps us