Founded in 1939 in Waterloo, the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel is a center of musical excellence where young artists from around the world learn from leading artists through masterclasses, but also by sharing the stage together. This public interest foundation works with more than 80% private means. After 80 years of activity, the Music Chapel has spread its activities in the United States, mainly in Washington, DC and New York, as well as in Canada.
The exceptional musical personality of the Belgian violinist Eugène Ysaÿe (1858-1931) has inspired generations of musicians, among them the violinists Isaac Stern and Yehudi Menuhin, students of Louis Persinger, himself a student of Eugène Ysaÿe. The Music Chapel is the fruit of Ysaÿe’s reflection on transmission and the formidable energy that Queen Elisabeth deployed during the interwar period to bring about a series of cultural projects in Belgium.
Franco-Swiss musician, Miguel da Silva was born in Reims in 1961. He started studying at the Conservatoire of his native city before moving to Paris where he was a student at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique with Serge Collot. He was awarded first prize in chamber music as well as for viola, and in 1985 he won the first Prize of the International chamber music competition in Paris.
His passion for string quartet led him to found the Ysaÿe Quartet with 3 of his friends. The Ysaÿe Quartet has then studied with the Amadeus String Quartet. After winning the first prizes in Evian, the members of the Ysaÿe Quartet soon started an international career that led them throughout the world, from Japan to America. This brilliant thirty year carrier was brought to an end in January 2014 after a major series of concerts with a special emphasis on the music of Beethoven.
In the past few years, engagements either as a solo player or with his quartet have led him to the Wigmore Hall in London and most of the greatest concert halls in Europe (Munich/Herkulesaal, Venice/Teatro della Fenice, Copenhague, Helsinki, Amsterdam/Concertgebouw, Hannover, Basel, Baden-Baden, Salzburg/Festspielhaus, Leipzig ) and he has toured in Belgium, USA, Japan and Italy.
Da Silva has appeared as a soloist with the Paris Chamber Orchestra, the Polish Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre d’Auvergne, the Franz-Liszt orchestra of Budapest, the Orchestra de Bretagne, and the Orchestre “Les Siecles”. As a very sought for chamber music player, his partners include Michel Portal, Jean-Claude Pennetier, Paul Meyer, Leonidas Kavakos, Pierre Amoyal, Augustin Dumay, Nikita Boriso-Glebksy, Antonio Meneses, Jean-François Heisser, Truls Mork, Henri Demarquette, Gary Hoffmann, Emmanuel Pahud, and Christophe Coin, among many others.
In addition to his CDs with the Ysaÿe Quartet, Miguel da Silva has recorded under labels such as Accord, Valois-Auvidis, Philips, and Harmonia Mundi. He also founded his own record company: Ysaÿe Records and under the label Nascor, offers young musicians the opportunity to make their very first recording.
In 1994, he started a class of string quartets and has since then been teaching a whole new generation of French and European quartets and chamber music groups at the Conservatoire National de Région in Paris. In 2008, he was appointed as a professor in Luebeck’s Musikhochschule where he took over Walter Levine’s position as a tutor at the European Chamber Music Academy and for Vienna Music University’s Summer Academy. In 2009, he joined Geneva’s Haute Ecole de Musique as a viola and chamber music teacher, and became the artistic director of Villecroze’ Académie musicale.
He is Master in Residence at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Belgium, where he joins Jose van Dam (bass-baritone), Augustin Dumay (violin), Louis Lortie (piano), Gary Hoffman (cello), and the Artemis Quartet.