Ladies and gentlemen,
After three years of volunteering, Mr Jacques Vanherenthals and his wife Ms Anne-Catherine Labrique decided to stop their cooperation with us.
They indeed wish to spend their time on new challenges.
We are sorry because they have done their job as artistic director of the festival in a beautiful way.
With this, the Center d'Oeuvres de Merode thanked them for the wonderful work to have brought the festival to the current level. We wish them every success with their future projects.
The Miniemen Festival des Minimes will of course continue in 2019 at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium.
The Festival 2019 starts on 01 July 2019 and ends on 30 August 2019.
We thank you all for your support and keep you informed of our choice of a new artistic director.
Amaury de Merode
Chairman of the Miniemen Festival des Minimes
The Festival des Minimes becomes modern :
festival on FACEBOOK : centre d'Oeuvre de Merode
festival on FACEBOOK : miniemen festival des minimes museum
festival on INSTAGRAM : festivaldesminimes
At the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium
Rue de la Régence 3, 1000 Brussels
Access through the main entrance of the museum or directly through the Museum Square
From July 1st to August 30st,
Working days from 12:15 to 13:00
The Minimes Festival moves to the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium
Since 2012, the Minimes Festival has succeeded to the Midis-Minimes in the church of the Minimes, the latter having gone to the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.
After the death of Father Jacques Van der Biest, the church came under the responsibility of priest Bernard Lenge Mulumbi and vicar Hervé Hygonnet.
The festival’s regulars quickly perceived the hostility of the two priests to cultural activities. In 2017, the lack of respect for both the organisers and the public as well as the systematic sabotage of the concerts made the situation intolerable.
Having taken no account of the contracts made between the church council and the Centre d’oeuvre de Merode (organiser of the Minimes Festival), the priests came with demands that are inacceptable. Such demands are tantamount to putting the Minimes Festival at the door of church of the Minimes (see the minutes below).
None of our protest letters, even the registered ones, have received any kind of reply and no help was given by the hierarchy of the church of Brussels. Only the leaders of the church council have tried to appease this sad situation.
In one year, the church of the Minimes have lost the concerts organised by BOZAR, the Minimes Cantatas and the Minimes Festival. The Minimes church is now deprived of any kind of serious musical program which is a shame since it had the chance to benefit from the skills of a man as incredible as Jacques Vanherenthals.
More than forty years of hard work has been destroyed by the lack of reaction of the hierarchy to the two priests’ actions.
These actions result in the suppression of any kind of cultural activities, the ejection of people in a state of precariousness and the loss of the faithful.
The Festival has found refuge in the brand new and magnificent auditorium of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. We are welcomed with open arms and can benefit from all the media and logistical support of this prestigious museum.
This room is perfectly adapted to concerts and benefits from the most modern techniques and comfort. The infrastructure can also accommodate people with reduced mobility.
In addition, we are staying in the same neighbourhood and therefore can always enjoy the many delicious restaurants of the Sablon. Public transportation is available right in front.
The 2018 festival will start in a few months. Every concerts will happen in the magnifient auditorium of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium.
What is the
of the Minimes Festival?
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.
In 2018, the festival moves to the the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium
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.