Mission and vision

The Antwerp Symphony Orchestra is a professional arts institution delivering on its commitment to move and inspire the widest audience possible through extraordinary (concert) experiences.

  • The institution’s orchestra is the leading symphonic orchestra of Flanders and Belgium, performing concerts in its home base, the Queen Elisabeth Hall in Antwerp, and in prestigious national and international venues.
  • Complementary to this, the Antwerp Symphony is also responsible for classical concert programming as a whole in the Queen Elisabeth Hall.

The Antwerp Symphony Orchestra is an entrepreneurial institution that produces its own concerts and socially relevant classical music projects, selling these productions nationally and internationally. The Antwerp Symphony maintains sustainable and constructive relationships with partners, public authorities, the business community, and its wider social environment.

As one of seven recognised art institutions of the Flemish Community, the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra performs concerts in all the leading concert venues of Flanders, in addition to being a Flemish cultural ambassador on the international stage. In Belgium, we play a prominent role.

Our varied programme ranges from Baroque music and the Romantic era to the contemporary repertoire, with particular emphasis placed on Flemish musical heritage, innovative projects, and education, for which we work with world-acclaimed artists

The Antwerp Symphony Orchestra has strong local roots in its home base of Antwerp, in part thanks to its socio-educational programme for very diverse audiences. 

As the custodian of the classical repertoire in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra organises and presents national and international classical music productions in this venue in addition to its own projects. All these concerts feature the ‘Elisabeth Classical’ quality label.

Antwerp Symphony & Julie Rommelaere


In the surrounding countries, at least one iconic orchestra has its home in an iconic concert hall. On the national level, this orchestra serves as a beacon for concert-goers who value world-class quality and an ideal to aspire to for local students and professional musicians who want to achieve the highest (quality) level in their music career.

The Antwerp Symphony Orchestra has all the assets for assuming this role in Flanders and Belgium thanks to the new Queen Elisabeth Hall and its strong focus on quality.

The new ‘golden’ Queen Elisabeth Hall has asserted its position as Belgium’s best classical concert hall in just a few years, both for its unique acoustics and clear sound and the quality of the listening experience. The number of leading foreign orchestras, conductors, and soloists keen to take to its stage is growing continuously. The clear link between the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and the Queen Elisabeth Hall ensures that the Antwerp Symphony’s reputation continues to grow internationally, which has already fostered greater name recognition on the international concert circuit.

The audience for classical concerts in the Elisabeth Hall has increased year after year (during the pandemic, audience numbers remained largely the same, which is also quite an achievement), with people travelling from further afield as the hall’s reputation grows. Concert-goers from Brussels and Wallonia and cultural tourists visiting Flanders are also discovering this concert hall. In due time, it may thus also become a tourism driver, much like the Concertgebouw Amsterdam in the Netherlands and the Festspielhaus Salzburg in Austria.

Given that the Queen Elisabeth Hall is the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra’s permanent residence, the orchestra can constantly develop and refine its own characteristic warm sound and stylistic flexibility. The ‘great leap forward’ in quality has also contributed to a strong own identity, both nationally and internationally.

As a result, every world-class conductor and soloist is happy to work with the Antwerp Symphony, ensuring that concert-goers in Flanders and Belgium now have an opportunity to see the world stars of classical music perform locally with a top-notch Flemish orchestra. Thanks to the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra Academy, the pre-professional orchestra academy, young musicians also get the chance to work with these stars.

As the custodian of classical concert programming, the Antwerp Symphony is the driving force behind high-quality classical concerts in the Queen Elisabeth Hall under the ‘Elisabeth Classical’ quality label. As the resident orchestra, the Antwerp Symphony bears responsibility for the Queen Elisabeth Hall’s image as a successful, qualitative classical concert hall for concert experiences of international quality. As such, it is no different from similar successful international examples (this is separate from the positioning of the Elisabeth Center as a conference centre or concert hall for light music, for which the KMDA is responsible). In doing so, the Antwerp Symphony is also responsible for every aspect of the audience experience, including audience recruitment and ticket sales, audience reception at concerts, and audience interaction in the margin of the concert experience.

The experience that the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra is continuing to develop in its own residence, on the practical, acoustic and logistical level, is shared with visiting leading international orchestras as part of the annual concert programming. The Antwerp Symphony organises this programming to ensure a consistent and complementary concert offering in collaboration with Cofena.


1. Quality and continuous improvement

Quality is at the heart of everything the organisation does. Everyone is constantly striving for improvement.

2. Partnerships

We are aware of each other’s responsibilities at the internal level, relying on cross-departmental collaboration where necessary to achieve our objectives. Externally, we do pioneering work with various cultural organisations and with partners who can contribute to achieving our mission.

3. (Internal & external) connectedness

We connect internally through our shared mission. Externally, we build connections with moving and inspiring experiences that we offer to the widest possible audience.

4. Agility

We adopt an agile mindset in today’s rapidly changing social context. Every employee is flexible and strives to achieve our innovative goals. We embrace risk in a collegial and learning culture in the workplace.