Marc Grauwels is undoubtedly one of the Belgian flautists most catching the limelight today. He owes this to his talent, his dynamic and generous personality but equally to his innate sense of communication. His eclecticism as an international soloist has inspred some one hundred composers from all over the world to write especially for him.
To name but a few: Ennio Moricone dedicated to him the flute solos in his “Cantate for Europe” while Astor Piazzolla dedicated to him his “History of the Tango” in 1985 and more recently the Greek composer Yannis Markopoulos likewise dedicated his flute concerto to Marc Grauwels. This flute concerto served as one of the inauguration musics for the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004.
Even before having finished his musical studies in his country he made his orchestral debute, aged only nineteen, with the Flemish Opera. In 1976 he joined the Monnaie Theatre in Brussels as piccolo solo (the Belgian National Opera House) which he left in 1978 to become first flute soloist in the Symphonic Orchestra of the Belgian radio and television. He stayed for ten years whilst being chosen for the same position in 1986 at the foundation of the famous “World Orchestra” directed by Carlo-Maria Giulini.
His career as a soloist was to soar in an impressive way from then on which would entail his definitive departure from the orchestra in 1987. In the same period he taught for fifteen years at th Royal Conservatory of Brussels and today he holds a chair as titular professor at the Royal Conservatory of Mons.
In February 2001 following an Asian tour the world management of Naxos in Hong Kong decided to confide to him a whole collection in their catalogue entitled “The Flute Collection”. For the coming years this Marc Grauwels collection will bring out thirty CDs. (Fifteen Naxos CDs are already available on the world market.)
Amply gifted by nature with a genial and enthusiastic character he does not refrain from multiplying very diverse musical experiences and readily moves to and fro between e.g. Piazzolla and Mozart and between Bach and Ravi Shankar. And yet, this does nor obscure his attention in keeping an equilibrium between seriousness and a vivid imagination in putting together his programmes. His last world première recording (a Naxos label), devoted to a number of unedited works for flute and percussion –most of these having been dedicated to him- makes a worthy illustration of this stance.
It was after all Marc Grauwels who participated in the recording of the sound track of the film Amadeus by Milos Forman, accompanied by Thomas Bloch and the Brussels Virtuosi Ensemble in the superb adagio for Glasharmonika, flute, oboe, viola and cello KV 617. He furthermore interpreted the youth sonatas, the quartets and the concerto for flute and harp of the integral works of Mozart offered in a single box containing 170 CDs. The case, the Golden Disk, is currently an unmatched commercial success with Brillant Classics for the 250th anniversary of Mozart (over 100.000 copies having been sold already).
With a minimum of a hundred concerts a year all round the world, more than 40.000 pages devoted to him on the Web and a discography listing more than 60 CDs as a soloist performer Marc Grauwels has shown that the right artistic approach does pave the way these days for a flutist’s tremendous public success.
Both in his career and in his artistic interpretations Marc Grauwels has always stayed true to himself… which after all does not count as the meanest of his qualities.
One can without question affirm that his artistic career began in 1989 by participating in the “Young Soloists” competition organized by Belgian Television (RTBF) where he obtained second prize. Moreover he received the prize awarded by television viewers by an absolute majority.
“Never have I ever heard the accordion played like that” was the leitmotiv when commented on his performances throughout the entire competition.
Beyond great technique and poetic style of amazingly great richness, Christophe reveals to the public a repertoire that few people can imagine played by the accordion.
With classical parts written for the instrument and in particular the concerto number 1 of Nicolai TCHAIKIN which he played for his final performance of the competition with the Symphony Orchestra of the RTBF
The following year, he represented Belgium in the 5th Eurovision competition for young musicians organized in Vienna. He played with the Austrian Radio Symphony Orchestra in the mytical room of the MUSIKVEREIN live over television stations from 23 countries.
Since 2004, he is a founding member of the ASTORIA Ensemble and specializing in the interpretation of the music of Astor PIAZZOLLA. ASTORIA has just recorded its third album, a live DVD, entitled History of the Tango released by Fuga Libera.
With ASTORIA as well as with other groups, the HABANERA Duo (Marc GRAUWELS on the flute), the RUBATO Duo (Isabelle CHARDON, violin) and the BAYAN Duo (Philippe HACARDIAUX, accordion), he has taken part in various television and radio broadcasts, recorded several albums and is regularly invited on Belgian and International stages.
1991 is the year of his first collaboration with Les Jeunesses Musicales de la Communauté Française de Belgique (Young Musicals of the French Community of Belgium) with a play about Blaise CENDRARS. Today ASTORIA is an integral part of the Jeunesses Musicales concert tours.
Christophe's other activities include accompanying on stage major and well known artists such as Annie CORDY, Henri DES or Jean-Marc THIBAULT. He also takes part in the recording of albums for these same artists and also for RENAUD, VAYA CON DIOS, etc
Named as accordionist of Musiques Nouvelles, he took part notably in the creation of KILDA (the island of birds) as well as in the REQUIEM from Pierre BARTHOLOMEE.
Christophe is currently Professor of Accordion at the Higher Institute of Music and Education of Namur (I.M.E.P.).