Event sponsors:

The Jury: 

Pianist Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden

Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden was born in Brussels. He entered the Royal Conservatory of Brussels at the exceptionally young age of 12. He studied the piano both at the Conservatory and later at the Queen Elisabeth College of Music, under the leadership of Eduardo Del Pueyo. At the age of 16 he won the Queen Elisabeth Competition. His career as a piano soloist was launched and has subsequently taken him to all the continents of the world.

He has played with several symphony orchestras including the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London, the Residence Orchestra of Den Haag and several Belgian orchestras.

Musicologist Greet Van ‘t veld

Musicologist Greet Van ‘t veld explored her passion for music first at the Antwerp Royal Conservatory, then during musicologist studies at Leuven University and at the Leuven Lemmens Institute. Her intrigue for music and word showed manifestly during her studies, and further blossomed throughout her career as a writer on classical music in many publications.

Greet currently combines her two passions – language and music – programming and concept developing for national classical radio Klara. She participates in the making of cd’s, makes interviews and writes concert- and CD-reviews in Knack.

Clarinetist Ronald Van Spaendonck

Ronald is considered as one of the best clarinetists of his generation. In September 2000, he was selected as a BBC New Generation Artist and was invited to perform with the BBC Scottish Symphony, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the latter with whom he made his debut at the BBC PROMS in July 2002. He gives both recitals and chamber music concerts at the Wigmore Hall and plays very often at the prestigious Edinburgh festival. He has performed in the greatest concert halls with the best orchestras including the Deutsches Symph onie Orchester Berlin and the Simon Bolivar Orchestra Venezuela and Sao Paulo Orchestra Brazil.

He teaches at the Brussels and Mons Royal Conservatories, the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris and as teacher “Honoris Causa” at the Guangzhou Conservatory in China.

Violinist Kati Sebestyén

Kati Sebestyén was born in Hungary. She qualified and later became Professor at the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Music Chapel. Today she is Professor of violin and head of String Instruments at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. She is regularly asked to be a jury member and to give master classes in the Mozarteum, Saltzburg, Young Talent, Amsterdam, Hannover, Lübeck, and the University of North Carolina. She is an active concert artist and has given recitals for radio and TV in most European countries and in the USA. She is a member of the Haydn Quartet, Sebastian Strings and Contrasts Ensemble and has released many CD’s with these ensembles.

Cellist Aurore Dassesse

Aurore Dassesse was born in Brussels in 1991. She began playing the cello at the age of seven, studying with I.Laporev and Hélène Dautry. In 2009 she entered her class in the CRR of Paris and later studied with Justus Grimm at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel and at the Conservatorium of Antwerpen.

Aurore has won several national competitions including the “Young Musicians” RTBF. In November 2012 she was selected “Young Belgian Talent 2013-15”. Today Aurore is studying with Gustav Rivinius at the Musik Hochschule of Saarbrücken in Germany and is the cellist in the Arenski ensemble with her sister Claire Dassesse (violin) and Stephanie Proot (piano).

Chairman, Author, Public Speaker Harley Lovegrove

Harley Lovegrove was born in the UK in 1957. His father was an architect and his mother an artist. In his early years his only dream was to become a professional musician but somehow life and his entrepreneurial spirit got in the way and his career veered a path through recruitment, marketing, sales, photography and then onto running his own businesses.

Today Harley is the Chairman of both The Bayard Partnership and ‘Young Belgian Talent vzw’. Author of four books: ‘Making a Difference’, ‘Inspirational Leadership’, ‘Transition’ and ‘The Change Manager’s Handbook’; apart from being a music fanatic and technical director of a high-end loudspeaker company, Harley is also a business coach, lecturer and public speaker.

Professional Coach Katrin Derboven

Katrin Derboven has extensive professional experience in high level management positions in both profit and non- profit organizations. Guiding and increasing the learning capacity of employees has been a red thread throughout her life. Her chosen profession of coaching is therefore a logical consequence from her 15 years of business experience. Some words that characterize her as a coach: experiential, creative, result and action oriented, enthusiastic and powerful.

Katrin’s sources of inspiration come from from singing, reading, writing, body work and meditation.

The Candidates: 

Emile Souvagie (Clarinet)

Emile Souvagie (°1999) started his studies in Aalst at the Academy for Performing Arts with Angélique Steenhaut. He is currently studying at the Lemmens Institute in Leuven with Greet Severens. Emile has won the Benelux prize for his category at the International Clarinet Competition festival in Ghent. He also played as a soloist in the East-Flemish Chamber Orchestra. Since 2014 he is touring with the Euregio Youth Orchestra who perform in the big concert halls of Belgium and the Netherlands. This summer he will go to Copenhagen for a masterclass with Andreas Sundén.

Vilmos Csikos (Violin)

Vilmos Csikos was born in 1996 in Budapest (Hungary). He moved to Belgium at the age of 5. He started to play violin at the age of 7 at the the Tchaikovsky Music School with Prof. Igor Tkatchouk. He currently studies with Mr Yossif Ivanov at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.

Vilmos has received numerous 1st prizes at national and international competitions, including: the ‘FLAME’ in Paris, the ‘Postacchini’ in Italy, the ‘Remember Enescu’ in Romania and the ‘Belfius Classics’ in 2011, where he participated in the gala concert with the chamber orchestra Aria under Etienne Rappe.

Veronique De Raedemaeker (Violin)

(°1996) started to play violin at the age of five with Mr. Francis Reusens in the Academy of Lier where she also studied piano, advanced solfege and harmony. She graduated in 2014 with maximum results for violin and chamber music. Since 2014 she is a full bachelor student of the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp, her professor being Ms Alissa Magulis, with assistants Alexander Pavtchinskii and Benjamin Braude. Apart from numerous successful competitions, Veronique’s special moment as a soloist was when playing the Beethoven triple concerto with cellist Roel Dieltiens, pianist Michaël Mannes and the La Passione orchestra.

Maxime Michaluk (Violin)

Maxime Michaluk (°1994) started learning the violin at the age of 6 at the conservatory Balthasar Florence with Cécile Delvingt and was admitted in his 13th year at the IMEP (Institute of Music and Pedagogy) in Namur, in the ‘Young Talents’ category, with Igor Tkatchouk. After a year of Bachelor in the same institute, he passed the entrance examination at the University Mozarteum Salzburg, where he studied from 2013 in the class of Igor Ozim. Maxime has won several national and international competitions, including 1st prize in ‘Dexia Classics’, ‘Cavatina’, and the ‘European Competition for Young Soloists’ in Luxembourg.

Alice Van Leuven (Violin)

Alice Van Leuven (°1994) was born into a family of musicians. She took her first violin lessons with Alain Meulemans, at the Court-Saint-Etienne Music school at the age of 6. Ten years later she entered the class of Erik Sluys at the music school of Anderlecht. Since 2013, she has been studying with Philippe Graffin at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.

Last year, Alice obtained the highest distinction for violin and a great distinction for chamber music. In 2012, she won a first prize at the ‘Belfius Classics’ competition for solo violin and a year later she gained the same prize for chamber music, with the pianist Ye Chen.

Additional information:

The 'YBT' Jury are not only looking for an exceptionally talented musician but for a candidate that shows potential to develop and grow. Character and attitude is as important as musical ability. The judging panel will be looking for a high degree of personal commitment; a free thinker with unending motivation and drive, and an ability to communicate their ideas and emotions not just through their music on the podium but also off it as well. Potential ambassadors of their chosen career, an example to others.


  • 31 March 2015: Closing date for all applications
  • 19 April 2015: Audition for selected candidates
  • 3 May 2015: Notification of selected candidates (all entries will receive personalized assessed responses)
  • 10 May 2015: Personal interview and video recording
  • 24 October 2015: Final and selection of the ‘YBT’ candidate , before a live audience at the Bozar in Brussels, Belgium

Who can apply?

In order to apply you need to meet the following criteria:

  • For the 2015 edition, we are limiting to violin and clarinet only.
  • Be between the age of 16 and 21 on the first of January 2016.
  • Be of Belgian nationality.

What's in it for me?

The winner of the competition receives:

  • a one time prize of 3.000 EUR in cash
  • support from Young Belgian Talent VZW for a period of 3 years. (From January 2016 until December 2018):
    • Financial advice
    • Legal advice
    • PR/Marketing support and coaching (your own website, business cards, social media, ...)
    • Career coaching
  • A personal budget of 5.000 EUR to cover career development costs (E.g. travel, courses, personal coaching, master classes, Summer schools, etc ...
  • Your own CD made from professional recordings of concerts and studio performances
  • A contract for giving 3 concerts during the sponsorship period for up to 2.000 EUR.
  • Paid concert tour for the Musica et Poetica tour.
  • Access to Young Belgian Talent's partner network.

How to apply:

  1. Complete the application form below
  2. Obtain a personal recommendation from your music teacher/professor (or other professional)
  3. Write, in your own words, a personal motivation statement (why you want to take part & how winning the competition will help you)
  4. Obtain a personal recommendation from family friend or independent person that knows you well to support your personal motivation statement
  5. Provide a photocopy of your ID card
  6. Agree to the terms and conditions on this website. If under the age of 18, have your parents or legal guardian submit their written approval.


  • Be prepared to attend an audition and interview on Sunday the 19th of April, 2015 in Vaalbeek, Belgium (1)
  • Be prepared to attend a second interview and video audition (to be shown during the final) on 10th of May, 2015 in Vaalbeek, Belgium (1)
  • Be prepared and available to take part in the open competition final on Saturday the 24th of October, 2015 in the Bozar, Brussels, Belgium (2)
  • All rights on pictures, video and audio recordings during the selection process, final and all subsequent events organised by Young Belgian Talent vzw are ceded to Young Belgian Talent vzw, unless agreed otherwise in writing
  • Be prepared to submit personal information (either themselves or via their parents or guardians) with regards to their family and financial circumstances (in order to demonstrate how the financial and other support offered by Young Belgian Talent vzw and other sponsors will benefit them)
  • All sums of monies and offers of other services are an indication only and are subject to variation and customizing according to the candidates needs and circumstances at any given time.
  • To generally support the ‘Young Belgian Talent’ program becoming a jury panel member for the selection of their successor.
  • Be prepared to have interviews and their name mentioned in the press and on the website of ‘Young Belgian Talent’ and their partners.
  • The winner is expected to become an ambassador for Young Belgian Talent vzw: give interviews, have their name mentioned in the press and on the website of ‘Young Belgian Talent’ and their partners.

(1) For both the audition and video interviews the selected candidates receive 32 EUR in the form of a voluntary fee to cover for their expenses. In addition the cost of transport will be reimbursed based on the price of the ticket(s) of public transport or based on 0,30 EUR /km if own transport is used. A copy of the tickets, or printout of an (online) route calculation will need to be submitted as an expense sheet afterwards.

(2) For the finals, candidates receive 244 EUR in the form of a 'Kleine vergoedingsregeling voor kunstenaars' which covers the concert and upfront practice. This fee also includes transport to and from the venue.