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Belgian Radio and Television Philharmonic Orchestra

Belgian Radio and Television Philharmonic Orchestra


The history of the BRT Philharmonic Orchestra, Brussels goes back to the birth of the Belgian Radio in the 1930s. After the well-known musicologist and promoter of contemporary music, Paul Collaer, had become head of the Music Department of the Belgian Radio, the orchestra, under its conductor Franz Andre, gained a worldwide reputation for its interpretations of the latest compositions of Stravinsky, Berg, Bartók, Hindemith and other twentieth-century composers. The orchestra gave the first European performance of Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra in Paris and the first West European performance of the Fourth Symphony by Shostakovich, and has, over the years, worked with many leading conductors, from Pierre Boulez, Paul Hindemith and Darius Milhaud to Lorin Maazel and Zubin Mehta.

In 1978 the Radio Symphony Orchestra was dissolved and both the Flemish and the French Radio divisions set up their own symphony orchestras. The Flemish network soon had a new orchestra, the BRT Philharmonic, with some ninety musicians and Fernand Terby became its principal conductor from 1978 to 1988. In 1988, Alexander Rahbari became the principal conductor and musical director of the new BRT Philharmonic Orchestra.

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