Printer-friendly version
Luis Dias

Eugène Ysaÿe: 150th birth anniversary

May 29, 2008 at 11:20 AM

Eugène Ysaÿe
May 29, 2008 by Luis Dias

Belgium celebrates 150 years since the birth of its illustrious son, violinist, composer, pedagogue and conductor this year.

The Royal Library of Belgium in Brussels commemorates this exceptional musician through four initiatives:

1. A temporary exhibition revealing a selection of scores, letters, photographs, and audio-visual files from its archives, as well as his instruments and other articles owned by him. Entry free

2. A publication with illustrations, accompanied by an audio CD, charting his life and career.

3. An excellent online exhibition. Do visit it. It is just as comprehensive as the actual exhibition, perhaps more so. There are audio clips and video clips on the website, and a wealth of information. The caveat that it isn’t in English; you have a choice of French or Dutch.

(Incidentally this was also the case in the Musical Instruments Museum (, just a stone’s throw away from the Library. At 5 Euros entry, you get access to the whole spectrum of musical instruments from around the world, from Jew’s harps to ancient viols to tam-tams to sitars, with audio guides playing excepts from compositions featuring the instruments on display. Wonderful value for money; however the only concession to the English language is the provision of English laminated pamphlets on each level, listing the composition excerpts you hear on your audio guides, and the names of the instruments. All other information in French or Dutch).

4. A midday concert was held on 16 May, featuring works by Ysaÿe or dedicated to him (Eliot Lawson, vioin; Jill Lawson, piano).

My wife and I stumbled upon the exhibition quite by chance, on a short break to Brussels. Well worth a visit if you happen to be in Brussels this year. For the rest, the website is a very good alternative if you are interested in the life of this musician’s musician.

From Kenny Choy
Posted on May 30, 2008 at 8:10 AM
Wonderful website! So glad to see Ysaye in action!

This entry has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha Silent Violin
Yamaha Silent Violin

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases Business Directory Business Directory

Johansen International Competition

Antonio Strad Violin

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases


Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Metzler Violin Shop

Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin



Johnson String Instrument and Carriage House Violins

Potter Violins

String Masters

Bein & Company

Annapolis Bows & Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine