Royal Conservatory of Brussels  

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Starting its activities in 1813, the Royal Conservatory of Brussels (French: Conservatoire royal de Bruxelles, Dutch: Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel) received its official name in 1832. Providing performing music and drama courses, the institution became renowned partly because of the international reputation of its successive directors such as François-Joseph Fétis, François-Auguste Gevaert, Edgar Tinel, Joseph Jongen or Marcel Poot, but more because it has been attended by many of the top musicians, actors and artists in Belgium such as Arthur Grumiaux, José Van Dam, Sigiswald Kuijken, Josse De Pauw, Luk van Mello and Luk De Konink. Adolphe Sax, inventor of the saxophone, also studied at the Brussels Conservatory.

In 1967, the institution split into two separate entities: the Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel, which teaches in Dutch, and the Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles, which continued teaching in French. The former entity became a School of Arts of Erasmus University College alongside film school RITCS, and associated with Vrije Universiteit Brussel it also offers Ph.D. degrees in the Arts through Art Platform Brussels. Since 2009, the latter entity has been associated with the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Visuels La Cambre and the Institut National Supérieur des Arts du Spectacle (INSAS), forming ARTes, an organisation that embraces the three aforementioned art schools of the French Community of Belgium in Brussels.


The current Royal Conservatory building consists of three wings arranged around a courtyard and is the work of architect Jean-Pierre Cluysenaer, built to his designs between 1872 and 1876.

The style is neo-Renaissance, influenced by the Lescot Wing of the Louvre. The decorative program of the facade is very elaborate, with five separate pediment sculptures (Instrumental Music by Liège sculptor Adolphe Fassin, Orchestration by Charles van der Stappen, Composition by Antwerp sculptor Frans Deckers, Performing Arts by Antoine-Félix Bouré, and Poetry by Tournai sculptor Barthélemy Frison) and other incidental work including garlands, caryatids, palm trees and musical instruments by sculptors Georges Houtstont, Paul de Vigne, Antoine-Joseph Van Rasbourgh, Auguste Braekevelt, and Égide Mélot.

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