Anyone who played the piano or harp between the late 18th and the mid 20th century probably did so on an Erard instrument. It would be hard to overestimate the importance of this brilliant builder to the development and performance of the Romantic repertoire. Founder Sébastien Erard’s one man project grew into a flourishing family business, with a branch in London as well as its Paris headquarters. Maison Erard continued trading until 1959. Erard’s innovations in piano building gave free rein to a powerful, transparent and colourful sound that enchanted and inspired composers such as Liszt, Chopin, Mendelssohn and even Wagner. Erard also made his mark on music and performance as an innovator of harp mechanics.


Six years after the Steinway170 Festival, the Concertgebouw is now turning the spotlight on Erard. Spearhead of this festival is a unique exhibition of some twenty grand pianos and harps that illustrate Erard’s innovations during the course of the 19th century. Erard and the music of his time will also be the focus of four concerts. Expert René Beaupain will be telling the story of the Erard dynasty and placing the company in the wider context. And finally, we will assess the importance of Erard to pianists, instrument restorers and today’s music lovers.




Men krijgt zelden de kans de altviool in een solistenrol te horen en dat in een programma door twee topmusici: Paul De Clerck (Le Banquet Céleste, Edding Quartet) en pianiste Claire Chevallier.

Ze brengen muziek voor altviool en pianoforte die teruggrijpt naar het verleden. Componisten kunnen dat doen via persoonlijk getinte hommages aan hun voorgangers, maar kunnen ook oude composities bewerken, citeren, herinterpreteren… Het leverde heel wat bijzondere muzikale parels op van o.m. Stravinsky, Britten, Reger en Hindemith.

Befaamd jazzmusicus Kris Defoort schreef op vraag van De Clerck en Chevallier een nieuw werk ‘Reflections in the dark’, vertrekkend vanuit oude muziek.

Het geheel is een indrukwekkende voorstelling, waar je als publiek héél dicht op zit.


+ meer info

Liszt/O Death



Claire Chevallier Piano, Erard 1876
Jan Decorte & Sigrid Vinks, Speech

Franz Liszt Funérailles, Andante Lagrimoso, Méphisto Waltz, Légende Saint François D’assise, La Prédication Aux Oiseaux, Légende Saint François De Paule, Marchant Sur Les Flots, Wiegenlied



Once again, those viewing Liszt as a composer of dazzling but hollow salon pieces are in for a surprise: this recital shows him at his most profound and contrasted, presenting a selection of pieces that seem to work towards their own resolution, moving from death to birth, from hell to heaven, and from darkness to light. The performer is Claire Chevallier, an insightful French pianist who has made Brussels her home and owns half a dozen period Erards, one of which will be lugged to Flagey’s Studio 4 for the occasion. She will be joined by Belgian actor Jan Decorte, who produced a memorable staging of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas for the KlaraFestival five years ago and will this time contribute extracts from Aeschylus’ Oresteia to form a stark counterpoint to the music.



Festival van Vlaanderen Brussel & Flagey


Amuz Antwerpen


(Photo: Jan Decorte © Danny Willems)



Inspired by an idea from the pianist Claire Chevallier, this musical theatre confronts Satie with Poulenc. Josse De Pauw performs the text and Benoît van Innis draws what he hears. A production by Muziektheater Transparant.



Rumour has it that this is the place to find out more about French pianist Claire Chevallier. Rumours are mostly correct. Perhaps you also heard she has a passion for Erard fortepianos. It's true. Check her collection. One could say she is into the arts, all arts. Well, she's an artist herself and she loves working with colleagues, in music, in theatre, in dance, in visuals arts. Check her projects. And should you get curious, there's plenty of opportunities to see her live at work. No need to wait to enjoy her music though. It's right here. Enjoy.


Go to 'concerts' in the top menu to view Claire's agenda in the upcoming days, weeks and months.