“Première” chamber music competition

FestiVita! Brussels Early Music Festival is launching an original competition as part of the festival programme, with the aim of giving greater visibility to young musicians who play baroque music by combining historical research, artistic quality and communication with the audience.

The Première competition is open to singers and instrumentalists under the age of 32 who play historical instruments as soloists, duos, trios or quartets, and who propose an in-depth approach to research linked to their musical practice.

Pre-selection is based on a video that demonstrates both the quality of the artistic performance and the quality of the research carried out for this project (link with the theme, specific instrumentation, choice of programme, originality of the project, etc.) as well as the ability to communicate with the audience.

At the end of the video pre-selection, 5 groups will be invited to take part in the final at FestiVita!24, on Saturday 17 February 2024. They will play in the beautiful Lorraine hall of the Cercle Gaulois, located in the heart of Brussels.

We look forward to hearing from you,

Michel Keustermans, artistic director of FestiVita!

Participation requirements:

  • Singers and/or historical instruments in solo, duo, trio or quartet (4 people maximum)
  • Age: must not have reached 32 by February 16, 2024
  • The program must include original research (repertoire, instrumentation, ornamentation, etc.) on the subject of “Brussels and the Southern Netherlands”. Be creative!

Pre-selection and selection criteria:

  • Quality of research related to the theme
  • Originality of the repertoire related to the theme
  • Quality of artistic performance
  • Quality of communication with the audience
  • Organological coherence
  • Compliance with guidelines



  • 30′ total artistic performance including 20 to 25′ artistic performance and 5′ oral presentation of research in FR, NL or EN.
  • Fee: €500 gross incl. VAT per artist / unfortunately we cannot cover travel and hotel expenses
  • Selection committee Première: same as for pre-selection + the two patrons of FestiVita!24: Fréderic de Roos and Bernard Foccroulle.

Keyboards available

  • Small Flemish harpsichord (by Jean Luc Wolfs) 1 keyboard 2 stops of 8′, transpositor.
  • Large French harpsichord (by A. Bonza) 2 manuals, 5 octaves, Hemsch copy.
  • Chest-type positive organ (by J. Deblick)
  • Positive organ with visible pipes, played with the back to the audience or sideways (by L. Meurisse)
  • Stein copy pianoforte (1780) (by Maene)
  • Pianoforte copy Walter (1795) (by Maene)
  • Harpsichords: pitch 415 or 440
  • Pianoforte: pitch 432
  • Tuning and temperaments to be chosen by the candidates.


  • Premiere Prize: National Lottery prize of €1,000 and a concert in the following year’s FestiVita! program (FV25!)
  • Honorary Audience Prize
  • For all pre-selection ensembles: all Première concerts free of charge upon reservation.

With the support of the Loterie Nationale Loterij and its players