Les Amis du
(The Friends of the Harpsichord) is an association founded in
1991 by the Belgian harpsichordist Betty Bruylants. Its
purpose is to foster people's knowledge and love of the harpsichord,
an instrument which was extremely important in the history of
western music for over three centuries.
The renewed discovery of Baroque music has restored the
harpsichord to its rightful place among ancient instruments.
In addition, the works that many 20th century composers
wrote for it prove that it is also a modern one, which offers
all kinds of opportunities for contemporary music.
Concerts, festivals, lectures and master classes have enabled
many performers and their audiences to get together and to share
their passion in a pleasant and genial atmosphere.
Among the many and various events organized by the Amis du clavecin
let us highlight the following:
Clavecin en fête,
a spring festival held in some of the most beautiful venues in
Walloon Brabant and in Brussels, is celebrating its 32nd anniversary,
The year was 1991, the venue, the church of Tourinnes-la-Grosse, the harpsichordist,
Davitt Moroney. The enthusiastic audience witnessed the
first recital of what was to become a festival that has lost
none of its momentum since.
Its purpose was to offer a meeting place for harpsichord players
and lovers, and since then "Le Clavecin à Tourinnes"
has welcomed numerous musicians in the course of its history.
Its repertoire has evolved continuously, comprising masterworks,
forgotten works, unpublished works ... Bach's Well-Tempered
Clavier, Goldberg Variations, French suites, suites
by Handel, sonatas by Scarlatti, Harpsichord works
by Louis and François Couperin, by Marchand,
Froberger, Draghi, Purcell ...
The traditional venue of these concerts is the beautiful romanesque
church of Tourinnes-la-Grosse, from which the festival
derives its name. But the little church of Upigny provides
an alternative venue when the intimate character of the works
on the program requires one.
In the wake of the festival, there are also "The Harpsichord
on Thursdays" and the "Espace Mikrokosmos",
whose programs are a perfect foil for those of "The Harpsichord
is a series of classes, of masters classes and recitals, given
in a contemporary setting conceived specially for harpsichord
music, a haven of peace and quiet in the countryside, only a
few miles from the center of historic Louvain, with its famous
university, one of Europe's oldest.
jeudis du clavecin offered a cycle of recitals. Outstanding performers made their
appearance and young artists were given the opportunity to play
for an audience.