Brussels Philharmonic | new chairman appointed

new chairman appointed

The General Assembly of the non-profit association Brussels Philharmonic has, at the request of the Flemish Government, appointed Dr Johan Swinnen as its new chair.

Dr Swinnen has an academic profile, works as a certified fine art expert and is an experienced cultural administrator (previously at KVS, deBuren, Muntpunt, VAF). He succeeds Baron Hugo Vandamme, who has been chair since 1998.

Brussels Philharmonic and Vlaams Radiokoor have a huge role to play in making the difference in a Brussels, Flemish and European context. And I would like to support this effort wholeheartedly.
Dr Johan Swinnen

30 November 2021 – The General Assembly of the non-profit association Brussels Philharmonic has, at the request of the Flemish Government, appointed Johan Swinnen as the new chair.

As of 1 December Dr Swinnen will succeed the outgoing chair Baron Hugo Vandamme, who has helped steer the non-profit organisation since it became financially independent in 1988. Today, Baron Vandamme can look back on an impressive 23-year career, in which he helped both ensembles to blossom into valued players in the national and international artistic landscape

In 1988, together with a handful of motivated directors, we were able to save the choir and orchestra and ensure their continued existence. In the past 23 years, together with Gunther Broucke, we have grown both ensembles to the current international level. Brussels Philharmonic and Vlaams Radiokoor will forever occupy an important place in my heart.
Baron Hugo Vandamme

As the new chair, Dr Johan Swinnen wants to maintain the present course of the organisation, and also intensify the focus on what is very clearly the DNA of Brussels Philharmonic and Vlaams Radiokoor: the great attention and passion for innovation in a high-quality environment.

It is with great pride that I accept the chairmanship of Brussels Philharmonic and Vlaams Radiokoor. I would like to thank my predecessor, Baron Hugo Vandamme, for having succeeded in strengthening the organisation’s international reputation. As the new chair – in the role of bridge builder, with empathy and with an open mind – I would like to build on this together with the team of directors, as well as introducing new ideas. As a go-getting and learning organisation, the Brussels Philharmonic and the Flemish Radio Choir must be enterprising in moving forward, be stimulated to continue thinking out of the box, and must give new life to their assignments in a permanent and sustainable way, always with the emphasis on the audience experience.
Dr Johan Swinnen

Dr Johan Swinnen will also use his position as chair to fortify and broaden the many partnerships that the organisation enjoys with various cultural, social and economic actors. Finally, he will also tackle the infrastructure challenge for both ensembles.

I regard the presence of the orchestra and the choir under one roof in the iconic Flagey Building as an incredible strength; as far as I’m concerned it is a cosmopolitan meeting place in Brussels with an eye for diversity in all its forms. Brussels Philharmonic and Vlaams Radiokoor have all it takes to be a community builder of social relevance, something that is vitally important in these times. I have chosen to focus in the coming years on stimulating ideas and intense emotions, different and eccentric with a view to cultural industry.
Dr Johan Swinnen

Gunther Broucke, manager of the non-profit association Brussels Philharmonic, is looking forward to the new collaboration: Broucke and Baron Hugo Vandamme were a formidable due for almost two decades, with many exceptional achievements. Today he looks forward confidently to the appointment of Dr Johan Swinnen, who will help shape the future of the ensembles with his new and refreshing contribution.

Without Hugo’s unstinting efforts, neither ensemble would be where it is today. It’s almost impossible to know where to begin thanking him for all that he has helped to achieve! I am incredibly pleased that he will be passing the torch to Johan Swinnen: Johan not only has a wealth of experience in the academic world and in the cultural sector, but also in the world of cultural enterprise, which is an important area of focus at Brussels Philharmonic. I am looking forward to working with him on the innovative future trajectory of both ensembles.
Gunther Broucke, general manager