The Orchestra

The Beethoven reference par excellence

Le Concert Olympique is a new orchestra aiming to create music of the highest level with a unique, contemporary musical experience based on historical insights, a thorough reading of the score and a quest for beauty. The orchestra consists of a group of 45 selected musicians from the whole of Europe who come together several times a year to, as it were, drink in the Beethoven expertise of Jan Caeyers and together with him perform the carefully selected programmes and projects in which Beethoven and his contemporaries take centre stage.

Le Concert Olympique performs Beethoven's music based on insight, hoping to provide an authentic, relevant, exhilarating and referential experience to the audience.  

The cornerstones of Le Concert Olympique are of course the 45 musicians who are extremely motivated to bring to life the Beethoven expertise of Jan Caeyers in each programme as authentically and sharply as possible. But there is more: Le Concert Olympique is a Beethoven orchestra with a clear vision, mission and ambition. The concept, the context, the values, the colour and the style are all part of the well-contemplated total vision.

>> Download HERE the bio of the orchestra, conductor Jan Caeyers and logos of Le Concert Olympique.

Conductor
Musicians
Beethoven
Context
Vision & Mission
Orchestra concept
Values
Canon
Performance style
Name
colour
European dimension

Conductor

The new role of the conductor

Le Concert Olympique has consciously chosen an innovative and decisive orchestral model in which the artistic expertise of the conductor is the basis. Only when the conductor has had the opportunity to formulate a vision on all parameters from the beginning of the production process can the highest level of quality be reached: choosing the members of the orchestra and the instruments to be used, the content of the scores, organising repetitions and even the end of the concert ritual.

Through all that Jan Caeyers imparts to his role as a conductor and through the global story he provides as Beethoven expert, the expectations of the audience are met. Through his Beethoven biography, the theatre productions and literary happenings a wide audience sector is reached and hereby encouraged to experience music live in the concert hall.

More information about Jan Caeyers as Beethoven expert, conductor and author of the Beethoven Biography : click here >>

Musicians

Musicians with a passion for Beethoven

The 45 Le Concert Olympique musicians come from and are active throughout the whole of Europe.

Insight into the score and the felicitous expression are crucial. From that viewpoint, it is clear that everyone is motivated to become a partner in the enthusiasm and musical knowledge of the conductor, and that they share his ambition to perform Viennese classical music at the highest level. The fact that the orchestra works within well-defined projects ensures the necessary sharpness: the Le Concert Olympique musicians are very aware that the orchestra must earn its international recognition through excellent performances within the defined artistic path.

Meet the Le Concert Olympique orchestra musicians: click here >>

 

Beethoven

The great master Beethoven

Beethoven of course takes centre stage in the Le Concert Olympique programming. In his pioneering book Beethoven. Een biografie conductor and Beethoven expert Jan Caeyers portrays Beethoven as a universal genius who knew how to find the perfect balance between ratio and emotion, and between power and control.

In addition to the well-known symphonies and concertos, Le Concert Olympique also performs less-known and seldom performed compositions by Beethoven, such as his great vocal works. The music history perspective is supplemented with music from, among others, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert and Mendelssohn.

In some of the productions a bridge to other artistic disciplines is created. For instance, Beethoven's Egmont was performed in its entirety in November 2012 with a brand new text by Belgian author Erwin Mortier.

Beethoven is however not just of interest in the musical sense. That he symbolises the turning a crisis into positive drive is a characteristic Le Concert Olympique implicitly and explicitly wishes to emphasise. Also overstepping limits, which is currently considered to be innovation, is naturally associated with him.

Artistic Director Jan Caeyers continually strives to create balanced yet surprising programmes: see concert agenda >>

Context

Experience Beethoven at the highest level

Jan Caeyers has written down his profound vision of Beethoven in the substantial book Beethoven. Een biografie, published in Dutch in 2009, in German in 2012 and in Hungarian in 2013. Other translations (including Chinese and English) are in the pipeline.

Writing this book was an indirect reason for creating the Le Concert Olympique orchestra, in which Jan Caeyers, together with 45 enthusiastic musicians, express his matured version of Beethoven and Viennese classical music, to release the forgotten treasures hidden between the music lines of this extraordinary composer, bringing them to life to be experienced and appreciated once again.

Check the Le Concert Olympique concert agenda for a unique Beethoven experience.

Vision & Mission

Ambition combined with expertise and perfection

Le Concert Olympique is a Beethoven orchestra based on the Viennese classic model. It was established in 2010, with 2020 and 2027 on the horizon, the 2 anniversary years of Beethoven.

In 2020 it will be 250 years since Beethoven was born, and 2027 will mark the 200th anniversary of his death. It goes without saying that there will be a great deal of international attention for the double anniversary, in a time span of barely seven years, of one of the most influential personalities in world history.

The mission is as simple as it is ambitious: to be recognised internationally as the Beethoven reference by 2020, both in the area of research and authentic performance, guaranteeing in this way an intense concert experience.

Orchestra concept

Exclusive at all levels

Le Concert Olympique is a Beethoven orchestra: in other words, an orchestra based on the Viennese classical model. The musicians are attuned to perform in the exemplary conditions of the symphonic repertoire of the late 18th and early 19th century, with emphasis on the oeuvre of Ludwig van Beethoven.

A crucial fact is that Le Concert Olympique as an organisation is not a ‘permanent’ orchestra and that this is a very conscious decision, so that it will never lose its energy and sharpness. Several times a year, 45 meticulously selected musicians come together for a limited period to work on an exclusive project that is prepared with thoroughness and then subsequently performed on various stages. Such exclusiveness avoids routine and guarantees an intensive experience and involvement, from both the performers and the audience.

Immerse yourself in our Beethoven experience.

Values

Beethoven in breadth and depth

Le Concert Olympique is an in-depth story in which new avenues are explored in order to bring musically historical relevant interpretations of the music of Beethoven. But also a story in the breadth, with and by Beethoven, providing exciting experiences to the existing audience as well as to a new and younger audience. 

Le Concert Olympique represents authenticity and integrity and the conscience avoidance of easy success, reflecting the fact that Le Concert Olympique takes an honest and sustainable approach.

There is however more than just Beethoven's music. Beethoven, the great master, has inspired countless numbers of people, and he continues to do so. Le Concert Olympique surpasses the traditional orchestra. It offers a complete Beethoven experience through imagery, sound, word and music. 

Canon

Classics with a capital "C", creativity and quality

It is becoming more and more apparent that the audience has a need for well-founded, thorough contact with art and culture. People are – more than previously assumed – prepared to make an effort on the condition that they are taken seriously and their hunger for quality and authentic experience is answered in a similar way.

This is also true for classical music, and it is no coincidence that the traditional trend setter ‘International Art Campus deSingel’ paradoxically enough has for several seasons been hosting a series ‘Know your classics’. The success of the very extensive Beethoven biography by conductor Jan Caeyers and the audience statistics for the Four-Days of Beethoven on the Flemish classical music radio sender Klara confirm this analysis.

Performance style

Modern and historical: the best of both worlds

The decision to create Le Concert Olympique as a Beethoven orchestra on the basis of the Viennese classical model is fundamental. With the trumpets and kettledrums as an exception, Le Concert Olympique has consciously chosen for a performance with modern instruments, while the achievements of the historical performance practices are completely integrated.

The conductor and orchestra desire to together achieve a performance style that is both historically motivated and contemporary. This paves the way for a new ‘authenticity', answering the expectations of a new century, and the concert becomes a moment of intense sensations and pure beauty.

This experience and the link between 'historical heritage' and a 'contemporary relevant interpretation' are supported visually through the involvement of the prestigious Antwerp fashion designer Maison Anna Heylen.

Name

The spirit of innovation and modernity

The name of the orchestra refers clearly to “Le Concert de la Société Olympique”, the most significant concert organisation in Paris between 1782 and 1789. This organisation caused a sensation in 1785 when they ordered six symphonies from Joseph Haydn. These Paris symphonies marked the birth of the modern classical symphony.

Le Concert de la Société Olympique was established in the Palais-Royal - the birthplace of the progressive, pre-revolutionary and social movement in France. The organisation was seeking to win a place in relation to the past and the establishment.

That spirit of innovation and room for modernity form the basic philosophy of the orchestra: ‘the old’ does not rule out ‘the new’. Le Concert Olympique is not and will not become an institute set in its ways. More on this in the orchestra concept.

colour

Magical sound and colour

The basic ambition of Le Concert Olympique to link timeless tradition to a contemporary experience is also translated visually. The musicians do not appear on stage in classical clothing, but are instead dressed in creations from the prestigious Antwerp fashion house Maison Anna HeylenEach musician wears an item of clothing that has been personalised by Anna Heylen, with a keen eye for his or her personality and role in the orchestra.

The designer has chosen delectable variations of indigo blue, which are in magical harmony with the colour and lustre of the instrument. The audience comes in the first place for the music, but with the magic of sound and colour, each concert is a feast for the senses.

European dimension

Beethoven on the European concert agenda

Since the début of Le Concert Olympique in October 2010 in deSingel in Antwerp (Belgium), it was clear that, even at the European level, this new Beethoven orchestra with its exquisite quality and sharp, substantial vision were destined for a leading role.

It is a worldwide unique phenomenon that Jan Caeyers, with Le Concert Olympique, has access to an orchestra in which he can put his vision of Beethoven into music.

After a series of very successful concerts in Belgium, Le Concert Olympique was added to the programme at Musikverein in Vienna (Austria), the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and De Doelen in Rotterdam (the Netherlands).

In 2020 it will be 250 years since Beethoven was born, and 2027 will mark the 200th anniversary of his death, thus making 2020 and 2027 internationally important festive years. For Le Concert Olympique, these will be monumental moments with an international concert agenda.