Unrequited love and burning desire: banal and commonplace, but oh, so crucial for many artists. And so it was that an unattainable actress became the ideal muse for Hector Berlioz: she inspired him to create the most influential symphonic works in music history, Episode de la vie d'un Artiste... en cinq parties Op. 14, subtitled Symphonie Fantastique.

An intensely personal work about a sensitive young artist – who was rejected by the woman of his dreams.

A fatal dose of opium was meant to put an end to the protagonist’s heartbreak, but instead the drugs took him on a journey through hallucinations and dreams, and ultimately made him believe that he had murdered his beloved. Berlioz tells the story right down to the tiniest detail, and renders words unnecessary thanks to his masterful music.

“Pretty spooky stuff. And it's spooky because those sounds you're hearing come from the first psychedelic symphony in history, the first musical description ever made of a trip, written one hundred thirty odd years before the Beatles, way back in 1830.”
- Leonard Bernstein


Marcel Poot
Vrolijke Ouverture

Camille Saint-Saëns
Concerto pour piano et orchestre n°2 en sol mineur, op. 22
David Kadouch, piano

Hector Berlioz
Symphonie fantastique, op. 14

Discover 2 contrasting performances: Munich Philharmonic & Sergiu Celibidache (with unconventional tempi) versus Les Siècles & François-Xavier Roth (a recent recording with period instruments):

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sticky notes

The color, fire, narrative arc, vulgarity, descriptiveness, and drug-induced hysteria of Symphonie Fantastique put it in a class of its own in the classical music world.

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Wolfgang is a smartphone app for live classical music. While the orchestra is playing, Wolfgang tells you what is happening ‐ at the very moment ‐ in the music.

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berlioz takes a trip

Watch the legendary TV episode of New York Philharmonic Young People's Concertswith Leonard Bernstein, featuring the Symphonie Fantastique.

watch the full episode

programmatic music

Berlioz knew audiences well; he provided a title for each of his five movements and wrote a detailed program note to tell the story behind the music.

read the full notes

symfomania! (8+)

Playing, singing, drawing, listening... and mostly: enjoying the Fantastic Symphony! Discover this fun kit for young music loving do-it-yourselfers.

download symfomania! diy


🎟️🎫 €41 > €5

Venue: Studio 4, Flagey

Location: Place Sainte Croix Heilig Kruisplein | 1050 Brussels
Telephone: +32 2 641 10 20
Online: www.flagey.be

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