Belgian National Orchestra

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Belgian National Orchestra (BNO)
Location Brussels, Belgium
Principal conductor Hugh Wolff

The Belgian National Orchestra (Dutch : Nationaal Orkest van België, French : Orchestre National de Belgique) is a Belgian orchestra, based in Brussels. Its principal concert venue is the Brussels Centre for Fine Arts (Bozar) The orchestra also gives concerts outside of Brussels in such cities as Sankt-Vith and Hasselt.



The orchestra was founded in 1931 by Désiré Defauw as the Brussels Symphony Orchestra, and later reorganized in 1936 into its present form.[ citation needed ] With its base in the Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels and subsidized by the Belgian government, the BNO performs 70 concerts each season in Belgium and abroad, employing 96 musicians. It specializes in the music of the 19th and 20th centuries and film scores. In 2003, contestants in the final round of the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition were accompanied by the orchestra, under the direction of Gilbert Varga.

Prior to the 1958 appointment of André Cluytens as its music director and permanent conductor, the NOB worked with various conductors including Désiré Defauw, Karl Böhm, Erich Kleiber, and Pierre Monteux. In February 2016, the NOB announced the appointment of Hugh Wolff as its next chief conductor, effective with the 2017–2018 season. [1] Wolff is scheduled to stand down as chief conductor at the close of the 2021–2022 season, and subsequently to take the title of dirigent emeritus (conductor emeritus) for two seasons. [2]

In June 2019, Antony Hermus first guest-conducted the orchestra. Hermus returned for an additional guest-conducting appearance in October 2020. [3] In July 2021, the orchestra announced the appointment of Hermus as its next chief conductor, effective with the 2022–2023 season, with an initial contract of four seasons. [2] In September 2021, the orchestra announced the appointments of Michael Schønwandt as its new associate conductor, and of Roberto González-Monjas as its new principal guest conductor. [4]

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  1. "Hugh Wolff becomes the new chief conductor of the Belgian National Orchestra" (Press release). National Orchestra of Belgium. 26 February 2016. Archived from the original on 19 April 2016. Retrieved 2016-04-01.
  2. 1 2 Céline Dekock (2021-07-19). "Belgian National Orchestra: le Néerlandais Antony Hermus succède à Hugh Wolff en tant que le chef permanent". RTBR Musiq3. Retrieved 2021-07-19.
  3. "Belgian National Orchestra kiest voor vernieuwing met de Nederlander Antony Hermus als nieuwe chef-dirigent vanaf seizoen '22–'23" (Press release). Belgian National Orchestra. 19 July 2021. Retrieved 2021-07-19.
  4. "Twee gastdirigenten voor het Belgian National Orchestra: Michael Schønwandt en Roberto González-Monjas" (Press release). Belgian National Orchestra. 16 September 2021. Retrieved 2021-10-07.