Benoît Douchy


I was born into music just over 60 years ago. My father played the clarinet and involved us in his life as an orchestral musician from a very young age. I fondly recall sitting between him and his colleague, attempting to count the bars to assist them in their entrances. Fortunately, they knew the pieces much better than I did! 
After a few unsuccessful attempts on the piano, a revelation struck me—I was destined to be a violinist!
I began my journey into violin playing under the guidance of a natural-born teacher, Raymond D'Haeyer. A colleague of my father's and a skilled violinist with the Belgian National Orchestra, this sensitive man undoubtedly laid the fertile ground that has shaped me into the teacher I am today, thanks to his humanity and expertise. 
A few years later, I enrolled in the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, joining the class of Georges Octors. Under his guidance, I took my initial steps in this prestigious institution that still brings enchantment to my daily life. 

The encounter with Sigiswald Kuijken proved to be decisive and had a profound impact on my career. His humanity and passion for music captivated me entirely. At the time, my knowledge of Baroque music was virtually nonexistent, and my exposure was limited to Vivaldi's 'study' concertos, which had 'prepared' me for the 'grand repertoire' of the violin. Without hesitation, I enrolled in his Baroque violin class at the Conservatory of The Hague. Under Sigiswald's guidance, I made extraordinary discoveries. The music, initially bland in my eyes, unfolded into a realm of rhetoric and unsuspected passions. 

I had the immense good fortune to become a part of his ensemble, 'La petite bande,' which catapulted me into the network of Baroque musicians. Over the past 30 years, I've had the joy of working in this world—both in chamber music and orchestras—enriching both my musical and human experiences.

Guy van Waas is another crucial figure in my career. When he began teaching chamber music at the Brussels Conservatoire and later at the Mons Conservatoire, he invited me to be his assistant. That encounter ignited a passion that has endured: teaching. Over the years, I have expanded my sphere of influence by introducing stylistic training on modern instruments, offering a valuable pathway for young classical musicians.
It was during these remarkably productive years that we established the baroque orchestra 'Les Agrémens,' embarking on a journey that encompassed numerous concerts and the recording of over 30 CDs. The adventure didn't end there; in 2003, we initiated the Namur Baroque Music Course, drawing participants from around the globe every year until 2013.
During this period, I became a part of the early music team at the Royal Conservatoire in Brussels. In addition to teaching baroque violin, my diverse skills quickly led me to assume the chairmanship of the department—a role that I have embraced with joy and happiness for nearly two decades.