The Festival’s reputation rests on the many and varied artistic ventures that it has undertaken since its original incarnation in 1916 as the Concerts Micha, founded by Octave Micha, the father of Raymond. With his friends, Raymond went on to found the Festival de Stavelot in 1957, and took part in the creation of the Festival de Wallonie in 1971.
The Festival experience
If many of our attendees are seduced by the special feeling that surrounds the festival, it is probably due to the beautiful setting in which it takes place.The historical importance of the Principality of Stavelot-Malmedy as a cultural and religious centre is well known; and as a result, everything remains in place to frame the festival.The Abbey is accessed via either the park, where the imposing remains of the original Abbey building are located, or through the Court, one of the recently-restored wings of which houses The Triangle Bleu, a contemporary art gallery with a fine reputation. The glass-enclosed cloister provides access to various performance spaces, notably the François Prume Room and The Monks’ Refectory, both regular venues. Higher up in the town, located on either side of the Place Saint-Remacle, are the Church of St. Sebastian and The Chapel of the Capuchins.
The Paths of Madness - 200th anniversary of César Franck
Read an article published in June in Forum Opéra
For young wind instrumentalist
"Thank you again and again! So happy after this crazy time! We wish all the best to the Stavelot Festival team."
‘Thank you very much! This is one of the best places we have ever been. The audience is fantastic, and your hospitality and care is unbelievable!’(2013)‘and again, here we are! Again, so nice audience, again so much fun! Thank you!’(2016)
"Thank you for welcoming us to your magnificent festival! Your kindness and generosity are wonderful and unique!"
"Many thanks for allowing us to be here and for your welcome! We hope that our music has touched your hearts and moved you!"
"Stavelot for ever! It's the sunshine of the summer! " (Julien Chauvin)
‘What a pleasure it has been to play, to share, to be in touch here at this special festival! Thank you for your warm welcome, in the hopes of a swift return!’ (2017)
"What a joy to have been able to play in this festival so warm and authentic that I felt at home!"
"Thank you, thank you, thank you! My return to Stavelot has become the musical highlight of my summer!”
"Thank you so much for all your hard work to mate our stay here so pleasant and wonderful !"
"I am back to Beethoven with fabulous colleagues... Thank you Stavelot! Thank you life!"
"Thank you for another great concert experience at my favourite festival! ... You are the best, the spirit is so unique and you are my Belgian family!"
“Thank you so much for this unforgettable experience! It has been such a pleasure! Being in Stavelot is really something special for me. The atmosphere, the kind people, this is really unique in the world!” (2017)
"After so much turmoil, music and friendship are even more precious! Thank you for your loyalty!"
"To play with people I love, in a place I love, surrounded by you all. That’s the definition of good fortune. Heartfelt thanks." (2004)"Always this feeling of being amongst friends, of being home again-both on and off the stage, what connects us all in this musical life...the sharing." (2011)"A quarter of a century of friendship, and so many wonderful adventures in music!" (2017)
"Thanks to you! Time found, audience found, happiness found! Best wishes to all."
"Always a pleasure to be here! Warmth, friendship and naturalness... Long live the Stavelot Festival and the precious people who make it happen! "
"Thank you! What a joy! Everything we give is given back to us, and we leave inspired and happy... "
"Many thanks to the whole team of this great festival! Thank you all for your warm welcome!”
"It is a great pleasure to finally meet the wonderful audience of the Stavelot Festival...".
‘I was delighted to discover Stavelot with its generous and welcoming atmosphere. It will be a most precious memory. This festival can serve as an example to others.’ (1960)
‘Is there anything new that I can say with each passing year? Only that this festival is close to my heart.’ (1971)
‘How lovely to be back here, to rediscover this beautiful room and wonderful audience.’
‘Thank you for your welcome and such a joyful and passionate feeling! What lovely times spent with you all. To the next time....I hope.’
‘There is a very special feeling at this 2006 festival... somehow... like magic, all good feelings, commitment and a love of music are always here in the heart of this Abbey. Thanks to all the big Stavelot ‘family’! We leave once again with your warmth in our hearts.’
‘It’s always a marvel to us that we feel simply at home here in Stavelot, with its audiences, its ambience, its acoustics and the warmth of the after-concert-extraordinary. It is such a pleasure to share these wonderful times with you all, in a festival where friendship rules supreme. There is nothing more precious for a chamber musician!’
‘What a pleasure to be here once again! It is such a pleasure to be able to share these musical times with you all. Thank you.’
‘What a fabulous find, a place touched with such simplicity and grace’....in 1995 :‘My heart is fixed with you here, among you. There’s a love that passes between us.’and in 2007 :‘It’s happiness! It’s that simple, like two notes on a viola in Stavelot...a true miracle.’
‘True music is...silence...and all the notes do nothing more than frame that silence. Thank you, Stavelot, for both honouring and bringing these ‘silences’ to life.’
‘Thank you Stavelot! What a place.’
‘To play Bach here is to pay him a very special kind of homage... Thank you for allowing us to share our love of this music with your uniquely attentive audiences.’...and in 2012, as CARMINA LATINA... ‘Stavelot, such a wonderful friendly festival, with a public unrivalled in warmth and so deeply responsive... Thank you for everything. See you soon!’
‘I will always be very lucky to have played at this, the wonderful Stavelot Festival, those unforgettable evenings. I salute you'.
‘What a welcome, what an amazing ambience.’
‘To play this music in one of the most beautiful and prestigious rooms in the country is a both renewed and rediscovered pleasure!’
‘Stavelot, a welcome, a public, a home for music simply wonderful.’... and, in 2016 :‘I am most fortunate to have rediscovered this magical place, with its warm public and its convivial family atmosphere.’
‘Two dreamy days in Stavelot, an altar to music. A lovely evening with this marvellous audience...etched for all time in our memories.’
‘As ever, a massive pleasure to see my dear friends once more here in Stavelot. Thanks for everything.’
‘To play at Stavelot is to come home. You are like family.’and in 2013: ‘A pleasure as always. This place is music itself. Thank you for being you.’
‘Wow! What a Pleasure (with a capital P) it has been to be here in Wallonie - big kisses from Quebec.’
‘Stavelot, a place of pilgrimage for all who love music.’
‘Thank-you for these moments of REAL chamber music among friends and family. With all my thanks and admiration for your loyalty and affection.’
‘It is such a privilege to be back here in Stavelot with you, at home, and to share these moments with you. Thank you for your loyalty and love.’
‘Few words can express how I feel when I am playing again in Stavelot. This is no ordinary festival. Don’t change a thing.’
‘Long live Stavelot, with her warm Ardennes folk, a unique people in a land full of creativity, which so satisfies us when we have the privilege of her invitation. Thankyou from the bottom of our hearts.’
‘What a joy to meet you and to play in your wonderful festival! Such warmth, quite extraordinary. Thank you for allowing us to share such precious times.’
‘Thank you once again for your wonderful welcome, your fabulous audiences, this spiritual place, for those who once again remind us why we chose this amazing life.’ ...and in 2008 :‘A summer without Stavelot would be like a holiday without the sun! You are the best of all the summer festival audiences.’
‘Thanks on receiving us so well...it’s been great!’
‘A year on, here we are again, always with the same feelings. A reunion which warms the heart and puts a smile on the face and a spring in the step. These lovely meetings make life worth living!’
‘Every return to Stavelot is such a celebration, a place in the world where the delicate and the difficult can be explored.’
‘A public overflowing with the love of music ,a warm and special ambience (which gives you goosebumps) ...’
‘Thirty-four years of concerts around the world without having played at the Festival here in Stavelot! Now it’s done, and we leave with wonderful memories!’.
‘It is a complete dream for any musician to play baroque music in such a right place and for such an appreciative audience. Playing at Stavelot is just like coming home...’
‘What a joy to play in this wonderful Festival at Stavelot.’
‘To the Festival de Stavelot, with the pleasure I have had this evening to once again play for such a thoughtful and musical public’.
‘Truly a real pleasure to play here for you’.
‘Now I know why Grumiaux so loved coming to make music here. You just know how to create a harmony around music making that allows it to take wings to the highest peaks.’
‘Thanks to all of you at the Festival who have created such a warm and welcoming atmosphere’.
‘It really should have been us applauding from the stage!
‘Joy in a welcoming place, in friendship, in shared music-a trio that makes for a happy and full heart.’
‘A marvellous family, lovely people, a warm public, a wonderful place. It’s all here. Thank you.’
‘A lovely memory in the life of a musician’.
‘What a great find for the Stradivarius and his friend! Thankyou.’
‘I love it, I’m a believer!’
‘The Festival de Stavelot has made a deep impression on me, and I applaud the remarkable achievement in its creation’.
‘Always this joy of shared music and friendship. Simply lovely times spent with you!’
‘With all my best wishes for a long and successful future for your wonderful festival.’
‘The welcome, the organisation, the audience-all marvellous. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.’
‘To the Stavelot Festival, on the occasion of our first encounter with your wonderful audiences and helpful staff.’
‘The Festival will always be an unforgettable place for me’.
‘It is with warm feelings that I think of my involvement with the festival, such a wonderful spirit and commitment'.
‘To the Festival de Stavelot, a perfect place, with wonderful people, and an audience for whom it has been a privilege to play’.
‘What a wonderful place to make music!'
‘It was a terrific feeling to play before such a receptive audience at the Stavelot Festival’
So happy to have returned and rediscovered this wonderful space.’
‘Full marks-a rare accolade-to the Festival de Stavelot for the performance space, the instrument and the audience'.
‘When friendship, pleasure and music meet, art finds its true space; and Stavelot is one of those only-too-rare places where this state of grace forever abides.’
‘Stavelot and music are inseparable; there’s a soul here that’s as real as a violin’.
‘How could one not be true and faithfull to this temple to chamber music which is the Stavelot Festival ?’
‘FESTIVAL STRINGS LUCERNE are lucky to have found such a special atmosphere, and we wish you every success with your remarkable festival’.
‘My thanks to all those who have given of their time and emotion for these beautiful moments’.
‘I like to think that the Orchestra des Guides might return again to this town, famed for its support of music...a boon for all Belgium.’
‘I cannot say in so few words my deep joy at having played at Stavelot, amongst the most special festivals that I know.’