Studying at the Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel

Building upon a rich international tradition the Royal Conservatory of Brussels wants to educate and train gifted students into excelling musicians who are inquisitive and open-minded and contribute to society through artistic reflection on it.

The ultimate goal of the process of “academisering” is to integrate research into the educational system and into artistic performance. The conservatoire does not produce pseudo-scientists but aims to educate conscious, well-informed, critical musicians who are in touch with a broad cultural context and are able to work with intuitive, emotional and spiritual contents and integrate these contents into the realization of a work of art. This process is characterized by a continuous tension between ‘tradition’ and ‘innovation’. 

In a world in which prosperity is very much defined in economic terms as a function of material wealth, profitability, efficiency and usefulness, the Royal Conservatory of Brussels wants to contribute to man’s overall sense of well being through music and art.  The art of music is particularly well suited to this purpose because of its ability to strike man’s cognitive and emotional chords and create an integration of both .

The Conservatory is located in the cultural heart of Brussels.  It organizes numerous artistic events and is therefore very much a part of and contributor to the social and cultural life of the capital city. The Queen Elisabeth Contest, the Festival of Flanders, the Festival of the Arts (KunstenfestivaldesArts), Ars Musica, the Munt Opera House, the Museum of Instruments, the fine arts museum Bozar, the Flagey initiative, the Goethe-institute: these are just a few of the cultural events and names of other insti- tutions the Conservatory actively contributes to or cooperates with.   

The Conservatory can dissipate its artistic, esthetic and human values in a very rich context thanks to its international faculty and student body, the multicultural character of the surrounding city and the Conservatory’s integration in the city’s cultural and social life. The multicultural dimension of the Conservatory not only shows through its music curricula and concert programs, but can be experienced daily through interaction with the people teaching and studying there.     

The Royal Conservatory of Brussels is first and foremost an artistic institute of higher learning.  The achievement of the highest degree of artistic competence is essential for music to reveal its full significance. All participants in the musical learning process are confronted with and must deal with the tension between “tradition” and “innovation”. Every musician must strike a balance between these two ends of the spectrum so as to avoid gliding off into either pure conservatism or new-modern opportunism. All sections within the Conservatory (Music Theory / Instrument – Vocal / Historical instruments / Jazz / Musical / and Teacher training) deal with this tension between tradition and innovation in their own way by emphasizing different aspects of the continuum in their programs.    

The music curricula and forms of examination at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels are based on international standards and checked against the curricula of similar European institutions. An international perspective is essential and very beneficial for students and faculty both here and abroad as it sets standards of quality and excellence.  

For each student a move to the capital city of Europe to the Royal Conservatory of Brussels equals a move into the world. 

Peter Swinnen, Department Chair