The University Foundation organizes lots of activities for the members of the Club. Below you can see short reviews of some past activities. A more complete list can be seen on the French or Dutch web pages.
Lunch debate “The failure of Napoleon's imperial dream” with Prof. Emile Lamberts, Emeritus professor of KU Leuven, Founder and past chairman of KADOC (Center fro documentation and research on religion, culture and society), author of "Europeaan tegen wil en dank. In de voorhoede van Napoleons Grande Armée (1805-1813) ".
Second activity in the cycle of lunch debates on the theme «A World of Cities» which the University Foundation organises, in collaboration with "la Fondation pour l’environnement urbain Pierre Laconte", for the members of the Foundation and also for a larger public (faculties, economic, social and cultural organisations, ...).
Debate introduced by Rector Didiers Viviers and Dean Francis Metzger.
Rector Didier VIVIERS discusses the situation of the ULB in Brussels, the problems and opportunities. Brussels is the main university city in the country. The University ULB is the most important employer of Brussels (8,000 employees). However its infrastructure does not match its ecomomic weight. An urbanistic and architectural opportunity is generated by the army buildings which become vacant. This yields opportunities for the development of research activities and of student housing integrated in the city quarters.
Professor Francis Mezger, internationally known architect, was awarded three times the "Europa Nostra Award" (renovation of the Villa Empain, renovation of the Library Solvay, renovation of the "Autrique House") and the Award "Quartier des Arts" for the ongoing renoavation of the Central Staion. He discusses the architectural challenges of the ULB and also the challenges imposed by the obligation to reduce the energy consumption in the design, the realisation and the maintenance of its buildings.
Guided visit to the exhibition "Renaisance Portraits from the Low Countries" in Bozar, followed by a dinner at the University Foundation.
The art of portraiture really flourished during the Renaissance. The individual was given a place in society and wealthy citizens were keen to have their portrait painted. FACES THEN is an exhibition of 50 portraits from the 16th century by masters such as Quentin Metsys, Joos van Cleve and Joachim Beuckelaer. They immortalised their contemporaries in astonishingly deft and extremely detailed, almost photorealistic paintings. These portraits were painted in the main centres of the Netherlands and often had a different role to play.
Gala concert of the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel with the National Orchestra of Belgium
Eivind Aadland conductor - Kobayashi Kaito piano - Sarah Laulan alt - Woo-Hyung Kim violin - National Orchestra of Belgium - Octopus Mannenkoor
Johannes Brahms, Variations on a theme from Haydn, op. 56a
Rhapsody, for alto, male choir and orchestra, op. 53
Frédéric Chopin, Concerto for piano and orchestra, nr. 1, op. 11
Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Concerto for violin and orchestra, op. 35
First activity in the cycle of lunch debates on the theme «A World of Cities» which the University Foundation organises, in collaboration with "la Fondation pour l’environnement urbain Pierre Laconte", for the members of the Foundation and also for a larger public (faculties, economic, social and cultural organisations, ...).
In times of scepticism on the European project we wished to give the floor to two speakers who represent the cultural approach to Europe:
Bernard COULIE (Honorary Rector of UC Louvain), specialist of paneuropean culture, in particular of the byzantine world, will speak on the European mix, of which the cities are an important example. He will sketch the Greek origins, the Roman fortifications, which have become open cities with respect to their surroundings. In the Middle Ages the cities became fortified units and later again turned to be open entities. This European model is characterized by centralisation, a continouos tissu of the city, the mixture of functions, cultural identity and biodiversity. This model contrasts with the "islamic model" with closed entities of connected streets and separate functions (kashba’s, riads).
Domenico ROSSETTI di VALDALBERO (European Commission), descendent of the famous Renaissance urbanist Biagio Rossetti (who designed Ferrare, one of the earliest modern cities), will discuss the European model of urban development, showing the position of the European city with respect to cities in the other continents. He identifies 60 cities "with European flavour". In particular Brussels is characterized by a mixture of royal, civil and religious functions. If the European city succeeds in making use of its past but remains open to the world and to the future, it will earn its place in the post-modern city structure.
Guided visit to the exhibition “The Ottoman Orient in Renaissance Art” in Bozar, followed by a dinner at the University Foundation.
On 29 May 1453 the Ottomans took Constantinople. News of the city’s fall spread throughout Europe. The approach of the Ottomans coincided with the emergence of a veritable fascination with this highly developed culture and its scientific refinement. Artists from every corner of Europe travelled to the shores of the Bosphorus; trade flourished, and so did cultural interchange, giving rise to a great number of artworks showing this intercultural dynamic. The exhibition shows the lure of the Near East for Western artists and draws attention to the influence of the Islamic world on Renaissance thought. With works of Bellini, Carpaccio, Dürer, Titiaan and others.
Lecture on «The future of European Cancer Clinical Research: challenges and opportunities » by Prof. Françoise MEUNIER, Director General EORTC (European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer). Lecture introduced by Prof. Augustin Ferrant, Secrétaire perpétuel de l’Académie Royale de Médecine de Belgique. This activity was preceeded by a cocktail reception at the University Foundation.
Lunch debate (Dutch and French) on "The need for a new energy policy" with Prof. dr. Jaap de Zwaan (professor European Law at the Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam) and Prof. Eric De Keuleneer (ULB), the main question being: "How to realise the transition to sustainable economic production and comsumption at the European level? "
Alcina – Georg Friedrich Händel
Like Handel’s Orlando (1732) and Ariodante (1734), Alcina derives from the narrative material in Ariosto’s Orlando furioso. The story of the sorceress Alcina, an initially hedonistic, manipulative woman who later finds herself a victim of love, fits into the genre of the ‘magical opera’ with numerous magical elements, but Handel achieved considerable emotional authenticity in his characterisations. This makes Alcina one of the most deeply felt and multifaceted operas. ‘You may despise what you like ; but you cannot contradict Handel,’ said the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw. As in Tamerlano, Pierre Audi based this production on the stage at the baroque theatre at Drottningholm, for which he originally developed the directing concept. His set is thus based on the principles of perspective, with wings in the form of painted panels. The result is marvellous modern musical theatre in a historizing frame.
The members of the Club of the University Foundation were invited for the New Year's reception on January 29, 2015, at 5.30 pm.
During this reception, Prof. Emile Boulpaep (President of BAEF) gave a presentation on "Belgian-American benevolence during and after the Great War", on the occasion of the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Great War 1914-18. During this war the Commission for Relief in Belgium (CRB) was active in the United States to help the Belgian population which suffered severe food shortages. After the war the CRB gave birth to as well the University Foundation as the Belgian American Educational Foundation (BAEF).