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Wim Henderickx honoured as Maestro Honoris Causa

On 9 November 2023, vzw Bolster's annual benefit concert took place, posthumously honouring unforgettable composer, and teacher Wim Henderickx. During the gripping concert night, his wife, Bea Steylaerts, received the title Maestro Honoris Causa from the hands of Antwerp governor and chairman of Vzw Bolster, Cathy Berx.

Wim Henderickx, who passed away unexpectedly in December 2022, left a profound legacy as one of the most influential contemporary composers and highly regarded teachers at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp. Vzw Bolster's decision to honour him posthumously with the prestigious title Maestro Honoris Causa is testament to his extraordinary merits and lasting impact on the art world.

Cathy Berx, governor and chairman of Vzw Bolster, shared her thoughts on this posthumous recognition: "How nice it wouldn't have been to be able to hand him that title in life. Unfortunately, fate decided otherwise. With this recognition, we pay tribute to a great composer, an exemplary teacher and, above all, a particularly beautiful human being."

During the benefit, students from the Music programme performed an impressive repertoire, supported by professional musicians, alumni and teachers. The work included own compositions by students from Wim Henderickx's composition class, as well as some of his masterpieces, including the Sanctus and the Agnus Dei from 'Revelations' and the enchanting 'Harp Concertino', testifying to Henderickx's versatility as a composer.

Stefaan De Ruyck, head of the Royal Conservatoire, emphasised Wim Henderickx's predestination for this recognition: "It is striking that Wim is receiving this award on an evening that is all about support for the students. He was able to support, challenge and enthuse them like no other."

Bea Steylaerts, who received the Maestro Honoris Causa title on behalf of her late husband, shared her gratitude: "So much more than that, I would have loved to see him running on stage happy and enthusiastic and hugging everyone passionately. His family, colleagues, musicians and a large host of friends were very close to his heart."

She added: "His oeuvre comprises around 200 works and so many plans and projects were still on his work table. For him, the curtain fell far too soon, but we as family and friends will strive to carry on, together, honouring him, keeping alive and spreading his joie de vivre, his inspiring work and his power to connect."

The Maestro Honoris Causa title for Wim Henderickx will undoubtedly be a lasting reminder of his contribution to the world of music and the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp.


📷 Marc Wellens