Brussels Philharmonic | creating new experiences

creating new experiences

"Sometimes people need an outside hand to help them see the obvious. We often look far away and ignore what’s next to us"

Principal guest conductor Ilan Volkov looks ahead to the Spring 2024 season.

Ilan Volkov a musical omnivore and passionate ambassador of living composers and groundbreaking initiatives, Volkov has launched the acclaimed Tectonics Festival and the I&I Foundation, created founded by Ilan and Ilya Gringolts with a mission to bring together performers and composers, generating fully funded commissions which will lead to the creation of a diverse body of new music and the cultivation of enthusiastic audiences for new music around the world.

[read more about Ilan]

organic programming

“What makes the collaboration with the Brussels Philharmonic so unique, is that because there is a limited area that we deal with – we’re not trying to present the entire repertoire – I can create a continuity with the venues, audiences and orchestra, so it feels very organic.

One project flows into the next in fascinating ways, which is going to lead to compelling programmes, with each season expanding on the previous one. We have so much material that we can cover that there are endless ways we can programme – it would be easy to do 20 entirely different but continuous seasons like this!”

wonderful audiences

“But the most exciting thing is how not only the orchestra but also the audience reacts: they have been so wonderful and their response to our projects is amazing. We felt they were excited and interested in what we were doing, and their reception for the new pieces was so enthusiastic. In my role I feel their openness as a space for exploring and finding new things for all of us together.”

This spring, we continue to explore the great variety of 20th and 21st century music, and the many different attitudes and directions it takes. We go from classics such as Stravinsky’s Symphonies d’instruments à vent and Schoenberg’s Pelleas und Melisande up to the most recent music.”

new commission

“I am very much looking forward to the brand new violin concerto by Mirela Ivičević, co-commissioned by the Brussels Philharmonic and the I&I foundation that I founded together with Ilya Gringolts. He performs a lot of new music and is becoming one of the most interesting violinists to write for - it will be an exciting premiere!”

Terra Memoria c Patrick Bardyn

Terra Memoria · 12.01.2024 · De Bijloke

Although they may initially appear worlds apart, Bach, Stravinsky, and Saariaho all share an extraordinary mastery of color and mood. Each of these composers reimagines elements from the past in a unique way.


Klarafestival: Another Mélisande · 23.03.2024 · Flagey

A forest, a castle and a love triangle between two half-brothers and an elusive girl: welcome to the misty universe of Pelléas et Mélisande. Arnold Schönberg transformed Maeterlinck’s symbolist masterpiece into a compelling symphonic poem.

There is no better answer to Mélisande’s mysterious silence than the work of the Croatian composer Mirela Ivicevic: rebellious, personal, rooted in the now. The Brussels Philharmonic premieres her new violin concerto, with Ilya Gringolts as soloist.

SCELSI c Marc Pennartz

Scelsi Sound Magic · 25.05.2024 · Flagey

Ilan Volkov boldly breaks open the boundaries of what music is and can be: anchors are cast aside, conventions are thrown out the window, and music becomes a physical experience - with Oren Ambarchi.