In 1958, Lola Bobesco set up “Les Solistes de Bruxelles”, which was then renamed “Ensemble d’archets Eugène Ysaÿe”, and is now the “Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonia” (ORCW).
The orchestra has regularly collaborated with some of the biggest names in Belgium and around the world:
- José Van Dam, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Aldo Ciccolini, Mischa Maïski, Maurice André, Arthur Grumiaux, Philippe Hirschhorn, Georges Octors, Jean-Pierre Wallez, Gidon Kremer, Louis Lortie, Jian Wang, Ivry Gitlis, Antoine Tamestit, Henri Demarquette, Richard Galliano, the Modigliani Quartet, Jean-Philippe Collard, Gérard Caussé, Renaud et Gautier Capuçon, Augustin Dumay, Maria João Pires and more;
- Paris, Beijing, Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Bucharest, Bayreuth, Munich, Luxembourg, Zurich, Geneva, Saint Petersburg, Brussels and more.
From 2003 to 2013, the orchestra benefited from the drive and reputation of its Musical Director and Principal Conductor Augustin Dumay.
In 2014, Frank Braley succeeded him and took up the post of Musical Director with gusto.
The Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonia performs regularly in Belgium with its leader Jean-François Chamberlan.
The orchestra is a partner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition for international music, and a regular presence at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, Bozar Centre for Fine Arts, Flagey Cultural Centre, and numerous music festivals.
It produces young artists. It puts on shows for children. It participates in opera and musical theatre performances and it sometimes performs with jazz, rock and world music groups.
The orchestra hosts diverse and original concerts in Mons, its home city and European City of Culture 2015, putting on a season packed full of the greatest artists from around the world.