The Friends of the Harpsichord


Les Amis du Clavecin (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:

Le 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, this year.
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Its repertoire has evolved continuously, comprising masterworks, forgotten works, unpublished works ...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 at Tourinnes".

L'espace Mikrokosmos 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.

Les 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.

The staff


Church of Upigny, 2002

from left to right:
Yasna, Marcel, Jocelyne, Isabelle, Françoise, Henriette, Jean, Anne, Betty, Geneviève, Madeleine.

from right to left:
Lia, Jean, Henriette, Françoise, Jocelyne, Anne, Yasna, Isabelle, Betty, Geneviève, Madeleine.


Chapelle Marie la Misérable, Woluwé-St-Lambert, 2004

From left to right:
Nicole, Isabelle, Jocelyne, Geneviève, Lia, Henriette, Betty, Françoise, Sabine, Yasna.