Under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Mathilde
The Queen Elisabeth Competition was established in 1937. At the time it was known as the Eugène Ysaÿe Competition. H.M. Queen Elisabeth and the celebrated Belgian violinist and composer were behind this magnificent project. The first edition took place thanks to the financial support offered by the de Launoit family and a number of personalities from the Belgian artistic and economic worlds. It was not until after the war, in 1951, that the Queen Elisabeth Competition really came into being.
The Queen Elisabeth Competition is an independent non-profit association, run by a Board of Directors and an Executive Committee. It operates with limited fixed costs; its main financial resources come from ticket sales and subscriptions for its various musical events
While it does not benefit from any ongoing institutional subsidy, the association receives backing from the different levels of public authority in the country in the form of prizes presented to the first six laureates of each piano, singing, or violin competition.
Nonetheless, the Competition could not exist without the invaluable support of its long-term corporate sponsors and of its private donors. It also frequently benefits from legacies.
These proofs of the appreciation of music-lovers bear witness to the affection in which the Competition is held by a very broad public.
It is thanks also to a range of partnerships with musical institutions both in Belgium and abroad and to the assistance of its volunteers and generous friends that the Queen Elisabeth Competition is able to maintain the quality and development of its activities on behalf of young artists and thus help to establish their reputations with both professionals and the public.
In 1965, following the death of Queen Elisabeth, Queen Fabiola took the Queen Elisabeth Competition under her patronage. She remained the Competition's Honorary President until 2013. Now, continuing a long-standing tradition within the Royal Family, Her Majesty Queen Mathilde has agreed to take the Competition under her patronage.
The Queen Elisabeth Competition is member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions