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Raising the baton: Bozar broadcasts its music programme for next season

16:28 22/03/2013

Bozar has unveiled its 2013/14 season – known as Music Lifts You Up – under the command of new music director Ulrich Hauschild. With extensive international experience under his belt, the German takes over the baton from Christian Renard, who reigned over the department for 21 years. Hauschild’s challenge is to increase the international profile of Belgium’s flagship arts centre, reach a larger audience and intensify the multidisciplinary orientation of its programme. 

In presenting its 148th season from the heart of the Antoine Watteau exhibition (itself a pairing of art and music), Bozar underlined its commitment to continuing this dialogue between music and other arts. Three major themes, six artist residencies, numerous festivals and other diverse events are scheduled to reach a wider and, it is hoped, younger audience.

World, electronic and jazz 

The spotlight falls on the Caucasian and Mediterranean region (Greece takes over presidency of the EU on January 1, 2014), with concerts by the Gurdjieff Ensemble and Savina Yannatou among others. Fado also returns with performances by Katia Guerreiro, Carminho and Helder Moutinho, while a new wave of stars of tango and flamenco also take the stage. From the jazz world, Belgian Brad Mehldau has been persuaded to appear for an exclusive solo concert in Bozar’s largest hall, the Henry le Boeuf. And multi-talented and multi-genre Franco-Tunisian oud player Jean-Pierre Smadj (below) takes up one of the residencies; he’ll perform five concerts, some of them with musician friends.


One major theme is Rameau, in honour of the 250th anniversary of the French composer’s death. Jean-Philippe Rameau revolutionised early 18th-century music; six key works from his career are performed by Belgian and international conductors, soloists and ensembles. Another is From Russia with Love, a rich and nostalgic series of works by the nation’s illustrious composers, orchestras and soloists, including Valery Gegiev and the Mariinsky Ochestra and the London Philharmonic with Moldovan violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja. Third theme The Intimate and The Sacred links up with an exhibition of Francisco de Zurbarán’s paintings for a series exploring art and beauty. Other international VIP guests include Simon Rattle with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel and Chinese piano star Lang Lang. 


Bozar’s most significant collaboration is with the annual KlaraFestival, which for 2013-2014 splits into two editions, in September and March. The first takes the theme of Melancholy and concludes an exploration of the human condition, while the latter launches the event’s new springtime date and marks its 10th anniversary with the theme The Belgian Connection. Various sound and visual experiences are incorporated into the Bozar Electronic Arts Festival, further widening the scope of this annual festival. And India is the focus of the biennial Europalia festival that starts in October, with art and music forming Bozar’s cultural contribution.


The extensive kids’ programme continues with its regular concerts, events and workshops throughout the season. The Big Bang festival returns in November for its fourth, edition while a new series of educational concerts is targeted at all the family.

Subscriptions and BozarFriends

Existing subscribers can book concerts from March 26, while new ones are invited to sign up and select dates from April 29. The new BozarFriends package allows you to create your own programme for a beneficial price and take part in exclusive events. BozarFriends cards are available from March 26, individual packages from June 4 and individual tickets from June 18. A new venture aimed at young music fans is €10 tickets available (all seat categories) 15 minutes before the concert for the under-30, while those under 26 can also get reductions of up to 25%.

Written by Sarah Crew