Walter Boeykens — Belgium

Walter Boeykens' virtuoso career looks like a fairy-tale, taking him from being a member of the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Belgian Radio and Television (until 1984) to a leading clarinet soloist, performing at the major music festivals both as a soloist and in various chamber music combinations.

His impressive discography includes the majority of the masterpieces for his instrument.  For Harmonia Mundi France, the Walter Boeykens Ensemble has recorded all the relevant compositions of the clarinet chamber music repertoire.

Walter Boeykens had the honour to play the first performance of the orchestral version of Pierre Boulez' Domaines, conducted by the composer himself.  He also played under Gary Bertini, Leonard Bernstein, James Conlon and other eminent conductors.  Lorin Maazel invited him both as a coach and a soloist to the prestigious Red Sea International Music Festival in Israel.

Walter Boeykens holds a number of important educational posts, at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Antwerp (where he founded his unique Walter Boeykens Clarinet Choir), the Conservatory of Rotterdam, the Académie d'Eté in Nice, the Cité de la Musique in Paris, the Scuola di Alto Perfezionamente Musicale in Turin and the Showa Music Academy in Showa, Japan.  His students come from different parts of the globe especially to work with him.  One of his students was his own daughter, Anne Boeykens, who is now following in the steps of her father.

Moreover, Walter Boeykens has excelled as a guest conductor with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Flanders and the Brabants Orkest in the Netherlands.  His concerts with the Orchestra Filarmonica di Torino were highly acclaimed in the Italian press.  As an editor Walter Boeykens has been associated with de Haske Publications bv since 1992, giving his name to a unique collection of publications for the clarinet in all possible combinations.

He is a laureate of the Prudens van Duyse award (1988) and the special Culture Award of the municipality of Bornem where Walter Boeykens was born and raised.  In 1995 he was appointed cultural ambassador of Flanders and he received the Golden Medal of the Flemish Government in 1996.  A man of great merit, Walter Boeykens was knighted by the Belgian king Albert II in July 1997.  In December 2001 he was the laureate of the very first Klara Career Price of the Belgian radio as a tribute to his complete career as a musician, coach and conductor.