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Belgium is a cultural crossroads where Flemish Dutch-speaking and Walloon French-speaking inhabitants mix with German minorities and immigrant communities from Republic of the Congo and other distant countries.
During the centuries Belgium produced several notable names in the field of classical music. In the 15th and 16th century composers like Guillaume Dufay, Orlando di Lasso, Josquin des Prez reached European acclaim. André Ernest Modeste Grétry was the most famous composer- born in what is now called Belgium- of the 18th century. The 19th century supplied composers like Henri Vieuxtemps, César Franck, Guillaume Lekeu and Eugène Ysaÿe. The famous German composer Ludwig van Beethoven was of Flemish descent and his grandfather (who was born in Mechelen). At the end of the 20th century the most notable Belgian composer was Wim Mertens.
In the field of opera, baritons Jules Bastin and José van Dam have become the most famous and internationally successful Belgian opera singers. In the lighter classical genre Flemish singer Helmut Lotti reached huge international success with his interpretations of popular opera songs for large audiences.
Blues and Jazz
One of the most famous jazz instruments, the saxophone, was invented by a Belgian: Adolphe Sax.
Some known Belgian blues artists are Elmore D (who sings in English and Walloon dialect), the Flemish Roland van Campenhout (also known as Roland) and the Brussels band Tomahawk Blues Band.
Last edited by coolcat77 on 20 Sep 2008, 19:08
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