Belgian Art Song Database

Click here to edit subtitle

General History

Music History

1820 - 1840

1820 Creation of the Royal Opera House of Wallonia in Liège

1821 Flemish poet Jan van Beers is born in Antwerp



1830 Belgium Revolution against Dutch.  Guido Gezelle, Flemish Impressionist poet, writer, and Roman Catholic priest born in Bruges. Creation of the first Royal Conservatory of Music in Liège (first director Louis Joseph Daussoigne-Méhul).                                

1831 The Belgian Constitution is approved in February and on July 21st. Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, a German prince, becomes King of the Belgians with restricted power under the Constitution               

1832 Creation of the Royal Conservatoire in Brussels (first director François-Joseph Fétis).

1834 Flemish-Dutch poet Emmanuel Hiel born in Dendermonde. 

1835 first railway line on the continent (and first in the world outside the UK) opened between Brussels and Mechelen

1822 César Franck born in Liège

1824 Adolphe Samuel born in Liège                      

1828 François-Auguste Gevaert born in Oudenaarde

1830 Eduard Lassen born in Copenhagen                

1834 Peter Benoit born in Harelbeke                          

1835 Jean Théodore Radoux born in Liege 

1840 - 1860


1846 The saxophone is patented by Adolpfe Sax and Jan Frans Willems (father of the Flemish movement and writer) dies in Ghent

1847 Flemish writer and poet Karel Lodewijk Ledeganck dies in  Ghent.

1850-1914 Thanks to the dynamic industrial and economic development, based on coal and steel in the Liège area, Belgium becomes a leading economic power.     

1855 Symbolist poet and writer Émile Verhaeren born in Saint-Amand   

1857 Flemish poet and writer Pieter Frans van Kerckhoven dies in Antwerp                                                 

1858 Eugène Ysaÿe born in Liège

1859 Flemish poet and writer Prudens van Duyse dies in Ghent

1843 Gustave Huberti born in Brussles   

1845 Hendrik Waelput born in Gent          



1851 Jan Blockx born in Antwerpen                       

1854 Edgar Tinel born in Sint-Niklaas                     



1859 Léon Du Bois born in Brussels

1860 - 1880

1860 Expressionist painter James Ensor born in Ostende                    

1861 Art nouveau architect Victor Horta born in Ghent    

1862 Maurice Maeterlinck, francophone symbolist poet play writer and essayist born in Ghent                  

1865 King Leopold I dies and King Leopold II is crowned King



1870 Emanuel Hiel publishes 61 poems "De Liefde in het Leven."

1871 François-Auguste Gevaert becomes the director of the Royal Conservatory in Brussels.     

1872 Jean-Théodore Radoux becomes director of the Royal Conservatory of Liège



1879 Creation of the Lemmensinstitut by Jaak-Nikolaas Lemmens in Leuven


1863 Eugène Samuel-Holeman born in Brussels    

1865 Auust de Boeck born in Merchtem and Paul Gilson born in Bruxelles                                           

1868 Lodewijk Mortelmans born in Antwerp

1870 Guillaume Lekeu born in Heusy, Joseph Reylandt born in Brugge, and Song Cycle "De Liefde in het Leven" by Peter Benoit and Emanuel Hiel.                                          

1871 Martin Lunssens born in Molenbeek St Jean

1872 "Liefdedrama" by Peter Benoit on translations by Hiel of 5 Shakespeare songs                               

1873 Joseph Jongen born in Liègeand and François Rasse born in Helchin                                              

1875 Raymond Moulaert born in Brussels               

1876 Flor Alpaerts bron in Antwerp and Victor Vreuls born in Verviers                                             

1879 Jean Rogister born in Liège

1880 - 1900

1887 Creation of the Royal Philharmony in Liège        

1888 Flemish poet Jan van Beers dies in Antwerp



1894 Adolphe Sax dies in Paris                                         



1897 Surrealite painter Paul Delvaux born in Antheit and Universal Exposition hosted in Brussels

1898 Surrealiste painter Rene Magrite born in Lessine. Creation of the Royal Flemish Conservatory of Music of Antwerpen (first director Peter Benoit)                        

1899 Guido Gezelle, Flemish Impressionist poet, writer, and Roman Catholic priest dies and Flemish-Dutch poet Emmanuel Hiel dies in Schaarbeek

1880 Leon Delcroix born in Brussels

1884 Léon Jongen born in Liège and Arthur Meulemans bron in Aarschot                                   

1885 Hendrik Waelput dies in Gent                          

1886 Robert Herbergis born in Gent


1890 César Franck dies in Paris, Rene Barbier born in Namur, Francis de Bourguignon born in Saint-Gilles and Maurice Schoemaker born in Anderlecht

1891 Marinus de Jong bron in Oosterhout              

1893 Jean Absil bron in Bonsecours, Jules Strens born in Elsene and Godefroid Devreese born in Kortrijk                                                                   

1894 Guillaume Lekeu dies in Angers and and Renaat Veremans born in Lier                                 

1895 August Baeyens born in Antwerp         


1898 Adolphe Samuel dies in Ghent, Gerard Bertouille is born in Tournai, Fernand Quinet born in Charleroi and Gerard Bertouille born in Tournai       

1899 Andre Souris born in Marchienne-au-Pontand and Albert Huybrechts born in Dinant

1900 - 1920




1905 Universal Exposition hosted in Liège


1907 Comic artist Georges Prosper Remi, called Hergé, born in Etterbeek                                                               

1908 Edgar Tienel becomes the president of the Royal Conservatory in Brussels 


1909 King Leopold II dies and Albert I is crowned King

1910 Universal Exposition hosted in Brussels


1912 Léon Du Bois becomes director of the Royal conservatory in brussels and Jean Neuhaus invents the pralines chocolate in Brussels

1813 Universal Exposition hosted in Ghent

1914-1918 World War I = The German Empire invades neutral Belgium. Belgian, British, and French militaries resist north of Ypres until the truce in 1918. Belgium's infrastructure and industry is widely destroyed.                      

1916 Symbolist poet and writer Émile Verhaeren dies in Rouen

1900 Georges Lonque born in Gent   

1901 Peter Benoit dies in Antwerpen, Marcel Poot  is born in Vilvoorde, Willem Pelemans bron in Antwerp, Karel Albert born in Antwerp, Raymond Chevrefeuille born in Watermael-Boitsfort and Willem Pelemans born in Antwerp                   

1902 Gaston Brenta born in Schaerbeek                  

1904 Eduard Lassen dies in Weimar and Louis De Meester born in Roeselare                                     

1905 Rene Defossez bron in Etterbeeka and Rene Bernier Born in Saint-Gilles                               

1907 Jef Van Durme born in Kemzeke-Waasand and Norbert Rosseau born in Gent                   

1908 François-Auguste Gevaert dies in Brussels, Jean De Middeleer  born in Brussels and Camille Schmit born in Aubange           

1909 Richard De Guide born in Basecles

1910 gustave huberti dies in Schaerbeek, Raymond Micha born in Stavelot, Renier Van der Velden born in Antwerp, and Franz Constant born in Montignies-le-Tilleul.                              

1911 Jean Théodore Radoux dies in Liege              

1912 Jan Blockx dies in Antwerpen, Edgar Tinel dies in Brussels and Jacques Stehman born in Brussels                                                                      

1914 Pierre Froidebise born in Ohey                          

1915 Victor Legley born in Hazebrouck, Marcel Quinet bron in Binche,  Berthe di Vito-Delvaux born in Angleur, and David van de Woestijne born in Llanidloes.


1918 Arie Van de Moortel born in Laken

1920 - 1940

1920 Olympic Games hosted in Antwerp

1922 Jazz musician Toots Thielemans born in Brussels              

1925 Joseph Jongen becomes director of the Royal Conservatory in Brussels and François Rasse becomes director of the Royal Conservatory in Liège            

1926 Mezzo Soprano Rita Gorr born in Zelzate




1931 Violinist Eugène Ysaÿe dies  


1934 King Albert I dies and King Leopold III is crowned                    

1835 Creation of the Royal Conservatory of Ghent (first president Martin-Joseph Mengal)                                   


1938 Fernand Quinet becomes director of the Royal Conservatory in Liège                                                     

1939 Léon Jongen  becomes president of the Royal Conservatory in Brussels. Creation of the Chapelle musicale Reine-Élisabeth

1921 Georges Colin born

1923 Karel Goeyvaerts born in Antwerp



1929 Henri Pousseur born in Malmedy, Frits Celis born in Antwerp, and Willem Kersters born in Antwerp

1930 Jacqueline Fontynborn in Antwerp

1931 André Laporte born in Oplinter and Lucien Goethals bon in Gent

1932 Jacques Leduc born in Jette


1935 Léon Du Bois dies in Brussels                          

1937 August de Boeck dies in Merchtem and Pierre Bartholomee born in Brussels

1938 Leon Delcroix dies in Brussels and Albert Hubrechts dies in Brussels



1940 - 1960

1940-1945 Germany invades Belgium again and the army surrenders after 2 weeks. The elected Government flees to London into exile. Most Belgian people wait things out, although some collaborate with the nazis (economically, military, or politically) while other resist (military, through sabotage or hiding Jews)

1941 Film director Gérard Corbiau born in Brussels 

1944 violinist Sigiswald Kuijken born in Dilbeek     

1947 conductor Philippe Herreweghe born in Ghent  and art nouveau architekt Victor Horta dies                 

1948 Creation of the Royal Conservatory in Mons     

1949 Maurice Maeterlinck, francophone symbolist poet play writer and essayist dies in Nice and the xpressionist painter James Ensor dies in Ostende

1951 King Leopold III abdicates and Baudouin is crowned King



1958 Universal Exposition hosted in Brussels

1942 Eugène Samuel-Holeman and Paul Gilson die in Brussel

1944  Victor Vreuls dies in St Josse-ten-Noode and Martin Lunssens dies in Brussels





1952 Lodewijk Mortelmans dies in Antwerp        

1953 Joseph Jongen dies in Sart-lez-Spa.      

1954 Flor Alpaerts dies in Antwerp, and Jan Van Landeghem  born in Temse

1955  François Rasse dies in Ixelles

1958 Danielle Baas born

1960 - 1980

1960 Independence of Belgium's African colony - Congo                     


1963 The opera house la  Monnaie constructed in 1700 became the national opera house.     




1967 Surrealiste painter Rene Magritte dies


 1970 First revision of the Constitution: foundation of 3 regions in Belgium were laid (Flemish,Walloon, and Brussels).  Creation of the superior Institut for music and pedagogy in Namur





1976 Henri Pousseur becomes director of the Royal Conservatory in Liège

1961 Francis de Bourguignon dies in Brussels

1962 Richard De Guide dies in Basecles, Raymond Moulaert dies in Brussels and Pierre Froidebise dies in Liège                                                            

1964 Jean Rogister dies in Liège, Maurice Schoemake dies in Brussels, and Benoît Mernier born 

1965 Joseph Ryelandt dies in Brugesand, Jef Van Durme dies in Brussels and Marcel Poot dies in Brussels

1966 Auguste Baeyens dies in Antwerp and Arthur Meulemans dies in Etterbeek

1967 Georges Lonquedies in Brussels                     

1969 Léon Jongen dies in Brussels, Gaston Brenta dies in Schaerbeek and Renaat Veremans dies in Antwerp   

1970 Andre Souris dies in Paris                       

1971 Fernand Quinet dies in Liège and Jules Strens  dies in Brussels                                                  

1972 Godefroid Devreese dies in Brussels 

1974 Jean Absil dies in Brussels and Robert Herbergis dies in Oudenaarde                              

1975  Jacques Stehman dies in Knokke-Heistand Norbert Rosseau dies in Gent

1976 Raymond Chevrefeuille dies in Montignies-le-Tilleul, Arie Van de Moortel dies in Brussels, and Camille Schmit dies in Limelette

1979 David van de Woestijne dies in Brussels

1980 - 2000

1980 Second revision of the Constitution: 3 Communities are established (Flemish Community, French Community and German-speaking Community). These Communities are each given a Council (their Parliament) and a Government and they decide about cultural matters, and about health and social services         

1983 Comic artist Georges Prosper Remi, called Hergé, dies                       




1987 Film Le Maitre de Musique directed by Gérard Corbiau          

1988-1989 Third State Reform: Brussels-Capital Region takes shape. King Baudouin dies and Albert II is crowned King

1992 The Euro becomes Belgium's currency

1993 Fourth State Reform: The Communities and the Regions, set up earlier, receive their full powers 

1994 Surrealiste painter Paul Delvaux dies in Veurne and Film Farinelli directed by Gérard Corbiau

1981 Rene Berbier dies in Namur, Gerard Bertouille dies in Brussels



1984 Marinus de Jong Ekerenand Rene Bernier dies in Ixelles          

1986 Marcel Quinet dies in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert and Jean De Middeleer dies in Brussels   

1987 Louis De Meester dies in Ghentand Karel Albert dies in Liedekerke    

1988  Rene Defossez dies in Brussels


1991 Willem Pelemans dies in Berchem-Sainte-Agathe                                                                       

1993 dies in Antwerp  Renier Van der Velden and Karel Goeyvaerts dies in Antwerp

1994 Victor Legley dies in Ostend

1996 Franz Constant dies in Le Tignet, France

After 2000

2000 Film Le roi danse directed by Gérard Corbiaux

2001 Fifth State Reform: The regions gain more independence (financially, economically, and politically)




2011 Sixth State Reform



2002 Georges Colin dies

2005 Berthe di Vito-Delvaux dies in Angleur 

2006 Raymond Micha dies in Stavelot

2009 Henri Pousseur dies in Brussels