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Walter Boeykens
Birth name Walter Boeykens
Born January 6, 1938
Origin Bornem, Belgium
Genres Classical, Chamber music, Jazz
Occupations Soloist, Conductor, Teacher
Instruments Clarinet
Years active 1964-
Notable instruments
Buffet-Crampon Prestige

Knight Walter Boeykens January 6, 1938 Bornem, Belgium is a Belgian conductor and a world renowned clarinetist. Boeykens has an impressive discography including several critically acclaimed performances that are testimony to his status as one of the most notable clarinetists of the 20th century. Walter Boeykens remains active and can still be heard in concert frequently all around the world.


His career as a clarinetist

Boeykens studied the clarinet at the Royal Conservatory of Music Brussels. In 1965 he won the International competition for contemporary music of Utrecht (Netherlands).

Between 1964 en 1984 he was principal clarinetist of Belgian Radio and Television (BRT) Philharmonic Orchestra.

On December 20, 1968 he created Domaines by Pierre Boulez —originally written for Hans Deinzer— in the version for Clarinet and Orchestra with the BRT Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of the composer himself.

This achievement launched him onto the path of a very successful career as a soloist. As a consequence, he was invited to many of the big European music festivals such as those of Berlin, Paris, Warschau, Salzburg, and last but not least to the festivals of Wallonia and Flanders (both in Belgium).

He appeared as soloist in numerous concerts in Israel, the USA, Venezuela, Japan, Korea...

Leaving the BRT philharmonic in 1984 allowed him to fully develop his career as a soloist, and play under the 'baton of famous conductors such as Charles Münch, Rafael Frübeck de Burgos, Gary Bertini, Leonard Bernstein, James Conlon, and many others.

In 1969, Boeykens was appointed professor at the Royal Flemish Music Conservatory of Antwerp.

In 1972 he became professor at the "Académie Internationale d'Été de Nice". Additionally, Walter Boeykens holds assignments at the conservatories of Utrecht, Rotterdam and at the Fontys Conservatory in Tilburg all in the Netherlands. Last but not least, he teaches at the "Cité de la Musique" in Paris, France and at the "Scuola di Alto Perfezionamente Musicale" in Turin in Italy.

In 1981, he founded the Walter Boeykens Clarinet Choir at the Royal Flemish Music Conservatory of Antwerp.

Jury of the Jeunesses Musicales International Competition in Belgrade (1987)

In 1987 he was on the jury of the Jeunesses Musicales International Competition in Belgrade. The jury members were:

In 1997 and 2001 he was on the jury of the Carl Nielsen International Music Competitions. In 1997 the jury was composed of:[1]

In 2001, jury members were:

Prizes and honours

Boeykens has been awarded many honours and prizes:

  • 1975 Grand Prix du disque
  • 1988: The fifth "Prudens Van Duyse"-prize
  • 1995: The "Speciale Cultuurprijs van de Gemeente Bornem"
  • Walter Boeykens is cultural ambassador of Flanders since 1995
  • In 1996 he received the Golden Medal of the Flemish government
  • In 1997 Walter Boeykens was knighted by King Albert II of Belgium in recognition of his lifetime achievement in music.
  • In 2007 he was awarded the title "Maestro Honoris Causa" at the "Hogeschool Antwerpen" by the "Antwerp Conservatory Foundation".



Biography on DVD

  • EPR-CLASSIC EPRC 001 © 2007

Recordings on LP

  • Cultura 5072-1 (p) 1975
    • Elias Gistelinck; Shouts for Solo Clarinet;

Recordings on SACD

Recordings on CD

As Soloist

  • Aurophon AU 34019 CD (p) 1992
    • Georges Meister; Erwin, Fantasy for Clarinet and Symphonic Wind Band
  • de Haske DHR 11.004-3 © (p) 1996
    • Gioachino Rossini arr. Tohru Takahashi; Variations for Clarinet in a version with Military Band.
  • EPR-CLASSIC EPRC 002 © 2007,
    • Jean Françaix; Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra
    • August Verbesselt; Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra
    • Marcel Poot; Clarinet Concerto
  • Erato 2292-45459-2 © 1991, (p) 1991
    • Carl Maria von Weber;
      • Concerto in F major op.73 J114 for Clarinet and Orchestra;
      • Concertino in c minor op.26 J109 for Clarinet and Orchestra;
      • Concerto in E-flat major op.74 J118 for Clarinet and Orchestra;
  • René Gailly International Productions CD87 075 © 1994, (p) 1994
  • René Gailly International Productions CD87 011 © 1986, (p) 1986
  • Ricercar RIS 065044 (p) 1989 (Disque Choc in France)
    • Johannes Brahms;
      • Sonate F minor op 120/1
      • Sonate E-flat major op 120/2
      • Trio op.114 for Clarinet, Cello and Piano
  • Talent DPM 291009 © 1987, (p) 1987
    • Carl Maria von Weber;
      • Clarinet Quintet in B-flat major op.34 J182;
      • 7 Variations on a theme from "Silvana" for CLarinet and Piano op.33 J128;
      • Introduction, Theme and Variations for Clarinet and Strings op.posth;
      • Grand Duo Concertant in E-flat major for Clarinet and Piano op.48 J204;
  • Talent DPM 291008 © 1988, (p) 1988
    • Carl Maria von Weber;
      • Concertino in c minor op.26 J109 for Clarinet and Orchestra;
      • Concerto in F major op.73 J114 for Clarinet and Orchestra;
      • Concerto in E-flat major op.74 J118 for Clarinet and Orchestra;
  • Vanguard Classics 99042 © 1995, (p) 1994
    • Robert Groslot;
      • Achaé, la docile amie for Clarinet and Orchestra;
      • I Colli Senesi for Two Clarinets (with Anne Boeykens;
      • The Tunnel for Clarinet and Piano;

Boeykens Clarinet Choir

Live concert in Japan:

Recordings of the Ensemble Walter Boeykens

Several recordings on the music label Harmonia Mundi

Conducting a Symphonic Band

Jazz Recordings

  • CODA COD003 © 1994, (p) 1994

Works written for him


  • Pamela Weston; Clarinet Virtuosi of Today; p32-37, ISBN 0 905858 46 8, Egon publishers 1989.
  • EPR CLASSIC EPRC 001, 2007, Biography on DVD

External links


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