Brussels Philharmonic | Rachmaninov Deconstructed

Rachmaninov Deconstructed

During Rachmaninov Deconstructed, a series of musical lectures by Brussels Philharmonic, you'll have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the four piano concertos of the grandmaster Rachmaninov.

In the intimate setting of Studio 1 at Flagey each concerto is meticulously dissected at the piano, guided by the expertise and storytelling talents of pianists Waldo Geuns, Florestan Bataillie, and Liebrecht Vanbeckevoort. Dive into the historical context, unravel the composition's structure, and unlock the musical mysteries. And rest assured, you'll also savor some delightful anecdotes along the way.

part of the Rachmaninov Festival 2023



sat 11.11.2023 - 18:00-19:00
Flagey, Studio 1, €9 > €5


Laureate and audience darling of the Queen Elisabeth Competition 2007, Liebrecht Vanbeckevoort unveils all the mysteries of the 3rd piano concerto.

Rachmaninov's Third Piano Concerto: It's the ultimate aspiration for many young pianists to one day play this concerto.This dream isn't just born from the fact that it's regarded as one of the most demanding pieces ever composed for the piano, posing a challenge akin to a sporting event. It's also because Rachmaninov infused this work with enchanting melodies and virtuosic brilliance. This composition is a tantalizing fusion of immersive lyricism and unbridled virtuosity, a testament to his creativity.

Over time, the Third Concerto has acquired a mythic status, finding a prominent place in the repertoires of orchestras and the climactic moments of prestigious international piano competitions.

Liebrecht Vanbeckevoort, the Belgian laureate of the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 2007, is now a seasoned maestro with approximately 40 renditions of this iconic piano concerto to his name. The genius of this piece has been a lifelong inspiration for him.

In this musical lecture, he will take you on a journey, unraveling the intricate structure and compositional grandeur right from the piano, showcasing pivotal passages, and providing insights into the unique challenges it presents to the soloist, conductor, and orchestra.

info & tickets



sun 08.10.2023 - 13:30-14:30 (Concerto No. 1)
sun 12.11.2023 - 13:30-14:30 (Concerto No. 2)

Flagey, Studio 1, €9 > €5


Florestan Bataillie, pianist, composer and passionate storyteller, dives into the 1st and 2nd piano concertos of Rachmaninov.

Rachmaninov was just 18 years old when he penned his very first Piano Concerto. Later in his life, he became critical of his youthful composition, leading to a revision in 1917. The outcome is a blend of the young Rachmaninov's virtuosity, lyrical melodies, and dramatic power, merged with the refined artistry and sophistication of the seasoned composer. Additionally, there are some notably challenging passages for the pianist.

The 2nd Piano Concerto marked Rachmaninov's significant breakthrough as a composer. Interestingly, he had struggled to compose any music in the years prior until he emerged from a creative slump, thanks to treatment from neurologist Nicolai Dahl. The result was this remarkable 2nd concerto, celebrated by both supporters and critics alike for its seemingly boundless array of melodies.

From his place at the piano, Florestan Bataillie takes a captivating journey into these musical masterpieces, inviting the audience to join him in uncovering their well-guarded secrets.

info & tickets



sat 07.10.2023 - 18:00-19:00
Flagey, Studio 1, €9 > €5


Pianist and musicologist Waldo Geuns unravels all the secrets of this special concerto at the piano.

Russia, 1917. The Russian Revolution erupts, and composer Sergei Rachmaninov witnesses his beloved homeland slipping away. He flees to America with his family, taking only what fits in their suitcases. In one of those suitcases are the initial sketches of a new piano concerto. For Rachmaninov, the move to America feels like exile, and for eight long years, he struggles to compose. That is until 1926 when he revisits the sketches of his concerto and completes his 4th Piano Concerto.

The result is a remarkable work that features his well-known lush orchestrations and expressive melodies, yet at the same time, the music is highly innovative. Is this Rachmaninov mourning his homeland, or is it the Rachmaninov embracing the vibrant American music scene? Discover it during this Rachmaninov Deconstructed.

info & tickets

Waldo Geuns


The story behind the music is what impassions pianist and narrator Waldo Geuns. It takes him from the piano to music theory, musicology, and philosophy. Waldo enjoys surrounding himself with other musicians, scientists, fashion designers, dancers, writers, chefs, or even a horse stunt team. It consistently leads to exceptional concert experiences.

Waldo trained as a pianist in Brussels and Salzburg under Jan Michiels, Hans Leygraf, Christoph Lieske, Bernd Glemser and André De Groote, and perfected his skills under Wieslaw Szlachta. The virtuoso, expressive way in which Waldo expresses himself as pianist, chamber musician, accompanist, orchestral soloist and storyteller has meant he is a popular guest on Radio 1 and Radio Klara, and also at major concert venues and festivals in Belgium (BOZAR, Flagey, Amuz, Concertgebouw Bruges, De Bijloke Ghent, Festival 20/21 Leuven, B-Classic Limburg, Jazzathome Mechelen, Flagey Piano Days,...) and abroad (Leidse Salon in Leiden, Mozarteum Salzburg, la Défense in Paris, Wagnermuseum Luzern, Arvo Pärt Center Tallinn,...).

Waldo released his first solo CD on Antarctica Records in April 2018. Cuentos de Amor comprises his own compositions as well as the sensual, virtuoso Goyescas by Enrique Granados ("A jewel" - Daily Classical Choice; "Sublime!" - Stretto). Waldo is a regular contributor to cultural magazines and editor of the Flagey in Brussels. In addition, he works for Davidsfonds as a lecturer and tour guide for cultural trips abroad and teaches Music History and Philosophy at the Royal Brussels Conservatoire.

Florestan Bataillie


Everything in Florestan Bataillie's life orbits around music! He is not only a pianist and composer but also an inspired storyteller who eagerly imparts his deep-seated passion for classical music to the audience. For the Brussels Philharmonic, he delves into Rachmaninov's piano concertos, meticulously dissecting them to their very core. From his place at the piano, he takes a captivating journey into these musical masterpieces, inviting the audience to join him in uncovering their well-guarded secrets.

Liebrecht Vanbeckevoort


As laureate and audience favorite of the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 2007, Liebrecht Vanbeckevoort has built a rock-solid reputation as a concert pianist. Since then, he has performed on international stages across Europe, Israel, China, South Korea, South Africa, Canada, and the United States.

His extensive repertoire spans from Bach to the present day, encompassing around 40 piano concertos. He has collaborated with renowned orchestras both in Belgium and abroad, under the baton of esteemed conductors such as Dirk Brossé, Philippe Herreweghe, Jakub Hrůša, Stanislav Kochanovski, Michel Tabachnik, and Gilbert Varga.

As a passionate chamber musician and Steinway Artist, Liebrecht shares the stage with acclaimed artists such as violinists Ning Kam, Stella Chen, Tobias Feldmann, and Timothy Chooi, pianist Severin von Eckardstein, tenor Thomas Blondelle, and cellists Camille Thomas and Yibai Chen. He is also a member of the Roeland Hendrikx Ensemble, and with jazz pianist Jef Neve, he forms a successful piano duo. Many of these collaborations hold a significant place in his discography, which now includes 15 CD recordings that are internationally acclaimed and broadcasted.

His love for chamber music and passion for musical entrepreneurship are also reflected in his role as the artistic director of the international festival "Klassiek Leeft" in Knokke-Heist and the international "Piano LAB" at the Landcommanderij Alden Biesen in Bilzen.

Liebrecht honed his skills under renowned pedagogues such as Jan Michiels, Menahem Pressler, Russell Sherman, and Elissó Wirssaladze, and he received valuable advice from exceptional personalities like Leif Ove Andsnes, Jacques De Tiège, Alexander Korsantia, and Hans Leygraf. Liebrecht Vanbeckevoort serves as a professor of piano at LUCA School of Arts in Leuven. He is frequently invited to give masterclasses, from Brussels to Cape Town and from Boston to Seoul, and is a sought-after jury member at various piano competitions. Additionally, he is an enthusiastic and dedicated tour guide for music journeys organized by the Davidsfonds.