José Van Dam - Masterclass and concerts

Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 April 2016

recital-jose-van-dam header
José Van Dam - Masterclass and concerts

The Fondation Louis Vuitton is once again hosting in residence Belgium's Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel.


From 23 to 24 April 2016, José Van Dam, professor emeritus of the Music Chapel, will hold his voice class in the auditorium for a series of lessons and public masterclasses, to feature the piano accompaniment of Philippe Riga.


Six young singers have been selected for this masterclass. All of them are members of the Music Chapel soloist class.


To coincide with the masterclass to be held at the Fondation Louis Vuitton with José Van Dam and the students of the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, there will be two concerts on the theme of "Love of Music" as part of a repertoire comprising opera arias and French melodies.


the artists

José Van Dam

Master in residence

José van Dam was born in Brussels, where he completed all of his musical training. Invited to perform on the world's most prestigious stages (the Scala in Milan, the Metropolitan in New York, Covent Garden in London, the Paris Opera, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, and more), his vast repertoire notably includes the title roles of Falstaff and Simon Boccanegra (Verdi), Don Giovanni (Mozart), Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), Boris Godunov (Mussorgsky), The Flying Dutchman (Wagner), La Damnation de Faust (Berlioz), William Tell (Rossini), Wozzeck (Berg), Gianni Schicchi (Puccini), as well as the world premiere of Saint François d’Assise (Messiaen) at the Paris Opera, a role he successfully reprised at the Salzburg Festival. He has regularly played the roles of Philip II (Don Carlo, Verdi), Hans Sachs (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) and Amfortas (Parsifal) by Wagner, Jochanaan (Salome, Strauss), Mephisto (Faust, Gounod), Golaud (Pelléas et Mélisande, Debussy), Selim (Il turco in Italia, Rossini), and Scarpia (Tosca, Puccini).

He has also performed in L’Heure espagnole (Ravel), Gianni Schicchi, The Flying Dutchman, La Damnation de Faust, and Elias at the Saito Kinen Festival; La Damnation de Faust in Geneva and Paris; Saint François d’Assise at the Ruhrtriennale Festival and in Paris; Die Meistersinger in Zurich; Don Pasquale (Donizetti) and From the House of the Dead (Janáček) in Madrid; Pelléas et Mélisande in Paris and at the Metropolitan Opera; The Love for Three Oranges (Prokofiev), La Traviata and Louise (Charpentier) in Paris, among others.

He has contributed to the success of many opera productions at la Monnaie in Brussels, where he has also given a number of concerts and recitals. He took the title role in Oedipus on the Road (Bartholomée) and Boris Godunov, and the roles of Barak (Die Frau ohne Schatten, Strauss), Giorgio Germont (La Traviata, Verdi) and Don Quixote (Massenet), among others.

He has also performed a vast repertoire of concerts, oratorios and Lieder, and has made a number of recordings. On film, he played the title role in The Music Teacher, directed by Gérard Corbiau, a brilliant Leporello in Joseph Losey's Don Giovanni, and starred in Babel Opéra by André Delvaux.

He has received a number of awards for his performances and honorary doctorates from the Universities of Montréal and Mons. The City of Berlin awarded him the honorary title of "Kammersänger", and the French government named him Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters as well as Knight of the Legion of Honour. He was ennobled by King Albert II.

Since 2004, José van Dam has been Master in Residence at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, where he directs the voice section.

Philippe Riga

Pianiste and coach

Philippe Riga received the First Prize in Piano and the Advanced Diploma in Piano in Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden's class at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels. He also won a First Prize in Chamber Music with the highest honours, the First Prize in Accompaniment, and the First Prize in harpsichord in Frédéric Haas's class.    

As an accompanying pianist, he pursued advanced studies under pianist Helmut Deutsch. He has performed in numerous concerts in Belgium and abroad as a soloist with various singers, including José van Dam, Udo Reinemann, Veronica Cangemi, Shadi Torbey and Teodora Gheorghiu. He regularly works with the Radio France Festivals in Montpellier and the Menton Festival. He also collaborates with the Royal Theatre of La Monnaie on musical performances and concerts, and with the Anima Eterna orchestra, conducted by Jos Van Immerseel, on piano and harpsichord.

In 2007, he recorded an album of French melodies by Irène Poldowski on an Erard piano, accompanied by soprano Elise Gäbele, and gave his first recital in Japan with soprano Tomoko Taguchi.

He has accompanied masterclasses conducted by Helmut Deutsch, Susanna Eken, José van Dam, Andreas Scholl, Tom Krause, Mireille Alcantara, Jard Van Nes, Ulrich Eisenlohr and Daniel Ottevaere.

He regularly plays with the winners of the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition and, in particular, the sixth prize winner Gabrielle Philiponet during the 2008 edition. In 2011, he was named official pianist of the Competition. He is currently a faculty member at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel as a pianist and coach for the voice section directed by José van Dam.

Julia Szproch, soprano, 26 ans, from Poland

Charlotte Despaux, soprano, 27 ans, from France

Cécile Lastchenko, soprano, 27 ans, from Belgium

Sarah Laulan, alto, 31 ans, from France

Denzil Delaere, ténor, 28 ans, from Belgium

Leon Kosavic, baryton, 24 ans, from Croatia

The Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel

Under the Honorary Chairmanship of Her Majesty Queen Paola

The Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, a public interest foundation, was founded in 1939. This wonderful project, devised by Eugène Isaÿe and Queen Elisabeth, was completely redesigned in 2004 to focus on two main areas:

1. High-level training in six disciplines (singing, violin, piano, cello, viola and chamber music) with the Masters in Residence. Six leading figures from the world of classical music are supervising the Music Chapel and its young musicians in 2015-16: José van Dam, Augustin Dumay, Maria João Pires, Gary Hoffman, Miguel Da Silva, and the Artemis Quartet.

2. Professional experience via a network of cultural partners in Belgium (including Bozar, Flagey, La Monnaie, major orchestras and festivals) and around the world. Nearly 300 concerts are being produced, co-produced or organised by the Music Chapel during the 2015-16 season. Every year, the Music Chapel welcomes some sixty talented young musicians in residence, from Belgium and overseas, with 20 nationalities in 2015-16. The Music Chapel is one of the top institutions of its kind in the world.

It is unique in that 80% of its budget comes from the private sector (foundations, companies, private sponsors, self-generated revenue) while the remaining 20% is provided by public aid (European Union, Belgian Science Policy Office, Wallonia-Brussels Federation Ministry for Education, and the National Lottery).

The opening of new facilities such as the de Launoit Wing in January 2015 marks a new chapter in the Music Chapel's history, providing it with the resources it needs to fully accomplish its mission of passing on music to future generations through a season of Chapel concerts in its new hall overlooking the Sonian Forest. While the Chapel retains strong Belgian roots, its international calling its flourishing more than ever before.

Bernard de Launoit, Executive President

The essential

Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 April 2016



Public Masterclasses

Saturday 23 April, 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Sunday 24 April, 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.


Saturday 23 April, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Sunday 24 April, 5 p.m. - 6 p.m.




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