Organization Emmanuel Durlet-Fonds v.z.w. with the collaboration of deSingel, Antwerp, Belgium

International Violin Competition Emmanuel Durlet 2021

Semi-finals: Friday February 19, 2021, Kleine Zaal, deSingel, Antwerpen
Finals: Sunday February 21, 2021, Blauwe Zaal, deSingel, Antwerpen

International Violin Competition Emmanuel Durlet 2021

Emmanuel Durlet Antwerp, Belgium 1893-1977

Emmanuel Durlet's grandfather, François-André Durlet (1816-1867) was a well-known person in Antwerp: professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, founder custodian of the "Steen" Museum and, also, one of the most important promotors of the Neo-Gothic style in Belgium.

He conducted the renovation of Our Lady's Cathedral of Antwerp and designed its magnificent choir stalls. The father of Emmanuel Durlet was also an architect.

Emmanuel Durlet grew up in a sphere impregnated by the mysticism of the middle ages, which later on had an important impact on the direction and the contents of his work. Architecture fascinated him all his life.

Studies in Antwerp and in Vienna

As a pupil of Frans Lenaerts at the Royal Flemish Conservatoire of Antwerp he obtained hisdegree for Piano with the highest honours at the age of 16. Afterwards he attended harmony courses given by Edward Verheyden and composition courses by Lodewijk Mortelmans. To improve his technique and interpretation style, he set off for Vienna in April 1912 to study under the world famous pianist Leopold Godowsky (1870-1938) at the Meisterschule für Klavier of the Kaiserliche Akademie für Music. The outbreak of World War I (August 1914) unabled him to study another year in Vienna. The war period is used to extend his repertoire.

Brilliant piano virtuoso

In 1918 Emmanuel Durlet embarked on a career as an unrivalled performer. One of his mostbrilliant achievements was the performance (by heart) of Beethoven's 32 sonatas, spread over ten recitals in a period of two months.

At numerous concerts and recitals Durlet proved to be a virtuoso of the highest level. Because of his spranklin technique and virtuosity, he excelled in the works of the great piano literature.

His contemporaries called him 'the Poet of the Piano'. Alex de Vries declared: "Emmanuel Durlet is the pianist with the most beautiful 'toucher' I ever known".

Intelligent and sensitive pedagogue

In 1920 Emmanuel Durlet was appointed professor of piano classes for the highest grades at the Royal Flemish Conservatoire of Antwerp. He held this function for 39 years, during which time his progressive technique and creative inspiration resulted in his training numerous leading musicians.

To help his pupils to build up their technical skills, he designed a four parts score called "Piano Study and Technique" regarded as unique in the history of Belgian piano tutorials.

For beginners he wrote the method "I shall play the piano well"

Composer with pictorial imagination

In 1933 Emmanuel Durlet started to perform his own compositions. 'Descriptive Poems', 'Fra Angelico's Garden', 'Reed in the Breeze' (for the left hand) and "Chrysanthemums' were the first of an impressive oeuvre, composed in a period of 20 years. This oeuvre comprises fifthy works for Piano, eighty short pieces for young performers, a concerto for piano and orchestra, a concerto for violin and orchestra, a sonata for violin and piano, number of 'Lieder' and various pieces for piano and/or other instruments. To help his students become acquainted with the 18th century Flemish works for harpsichord, he rearranged about 300 of them for piano.

Durlet prefers to give his works evocative titels. Descriptive and programmatic elements are a constant in his oeuvre. The organic integration of various piano techniques and the transformation of those brilliant techniques into an expressive and meaningful pianistic language, together with a highly individualistic melody, and a rich and, at times, surprising harmony give the compositions a very personal and recognisable style.

"The most beautiful music is the rustling of the leaves and the murmuring of the corn rocked by the breeze" – Emmanuel Durlet


  1. The International Violin Competition Emmanuel Durlet is a competition for violin, open to participants of all nationalities.
  2. The candidates must be at least 16 years old and should not have reached the age of 28 years by the 1st of February 2021.
  3. The competition is public and is split into a preliminary round (video recording), semi-finals and finals.
  4. Applications are due 1 January 2021. The chosen candidates for the semi-finals will be informed at the latest on 12 January 2021.
  5. The inscription must be done with the enclosed form, together with:

    • a photo/scan of the identity certificate or passport of the candidate,
    • a photo/scan of the identity certificate or passport of the parents if the candidate is younger than 18 years,
    • a photo JPG, at least 300 dpi, minimum 9 x 13 cm.,
    • the programme of the 3 rounds (the preliminary round, the semi-finals and the finals conform to the rule, with mention of the duration of the work.

    The inscription becomes definite after payment of €120, to the ING Bank account number IBAN BE35 3200 4363 7037 (BIC BBRUBEBB) of the 'Emmanuel Durlet-Fonds v.z.w.' B-2020 Antwerpen or Paypal. Please mention "International Violin Competition Emmanuel Durlet 2021" and the candidate's name.

  6. Maximum 10 participants are allowed to the semi-finals of the competition and maximum 5 finalists will be allowed to the finals of the competition.
  7. The candidates indicate themselves the order in which they will perform the works. If the programme lasts longer than indicated in the rules, the president of the jury may interrupt the candidate. The duration of the programme for the semi-finals is maximum 40 minutes. The programme of the candidates may not be modified after the limit date of the inscription.
    N.B: The candidates must carefully mention on their programme the title of the works and the duration of the chosen pieces.
  8. All the works are performed by heart, except the Sonata for Violin and Piano "Illuminated Tales": 'Andante religioso' and 'Appassionata' by Emmanuel Durlet.
  9. The order, the date and time of performance of the semi-finalists will be determined on the 21st of February 2021. The order of appearance will be the same for the entire competition.
  10. The first Prize 'Emmanuel Durlet for Violin' will only once be attributed to the same person.
  11. The candidate gives the organizers of the 'International Violin Competition Emmanuel Durlet' the right to publish the pictures which were sent by the candidate within the framework of the competition. The candidates wont receive any idemnity or claim conditions. By sending the photo's the candidate confirms to possess the intellectual rights of property of these photo's or received the permission to use this power.
  12. The semi-finalists will be accompanied by a pianist appointed by the Durlet Foundation. The semi-finalists are allowed to bring their own pianist for the semi-finals. These pianists, however, may not stay in the host family of the candidates.
  13. The chosen programme by the candidate (with the mention of the precise duration of the works) must reach us at the latest on the 1st of January 2021 by using the application form below or at the following address: International Violin Competition Emmanuel Durlet, Jan Van Rijswijcklaan 168A/9, 2020 Antwerpen, Belgium

Info:, tel.: 00/32.(0) or 32.(0)473/427.327


Preliminary rounds

The candidates must upload a video with the following programme:

  1. J.S. Bach: Sonata nr. 1 in G minor BWV 1001: 'Adagio' & 'Fuga' or Sonata nr. 2 in A minor BWV 1003: 'Grave' & 'Fuga'.
  2. N. Paganini: a Capriccio.
  3. Emm. Durlet: 'Canzonetta' for Violin and Piano (3 minutes).

    N.B.: The programme of this recording may be performed during the semi-finals of the competition.


Friday February 19, 2021 at 10.30 a.m.: deSingel, Kleine Zaal (Little Hall).

Maximum 10 semi-finalists. Duration: maximum 40 minutes.


  1. Emmanuel Durlet: Sonata for Violin and Piano 'Illuminated Tales': 1st and 2nd part: Andante religioso (6'47) and Appassionata (5'13).
  2. J.S. Bach: Sonata nr. 1 in G minor BWV 1001: 'Adagio' & 'Fuga' or Sonata nr. 1 in A minor BWV 1003: 'Grave' & 'Fuga'.
  3. N. Paganini: A Capriccio.
  4. A virtuoso piece.


Sunday February 21, 2021 at 2 p.m., deSingel, Blauwe Zaal (Blue Hall).

Maximum five finalists.

The finalists are accompanied by the 'ORFEO CHAMBER ORCHESTRA' under the direction of Rik Ghesquière.


  1. W.A. Mozart: The 1st part of the 4th or 5th Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
  2. Emmanuel Durlet: 1st part of the Concerto for Violin and Orchesra: "The Chapel of Mary-Magdalena extra muros": 'Moderato' (16'50)


  1. The Jury is coordinated and directed by a President assisted by 4 members. The President will be assisted by a secretary who has no right to vote.
  2. In case of equality of the voices, the voice of the President is decisive. The decision of the Jury is without appeal. There is no possibility for appeal.
  3. The deliberation of the Jury is confidential. All the members of the Jury are advised to keep it secret. On the other hand they can give their appreciation to the candidates.
  4. After the deliberation of the Jury, the results of the competition will be announced in the "Blauwe Zaal" of deSingel.


The following Prizes can be attributed:

All the Prizewinners receive a diploma mentioning the Prize they received.

To the laureates of the semi-finals, who did not receive a Prize, a diploma will be awarded.

After announcing the results of the Competition a reception will be offered to the laureate and his or her family, the members of he Jury and the members of the Board of Direction of the 'Emmanuel Durlet Foundation'.


Fill out the form below or print the application form. This application form must reach us before January 1, 2021, under closed cover, by registered letter, or by mail, to: 'Emmanuel Durlet-Fonds v.z.w.', Jan Van Rijswijcklaan 168A/9, B-2020 Antwerpen (Belgium), accompanied by the documents mentioned in art. 5° of the rules.