Our Story

MUSICA MUNDI COURSE AND FESTIVAL – Paving the way for Musica Mundi School

The Musica Mundi Course and Festival, created in 1999, was born from decades of experience in teaching music to exceptional talents and a commitment to share this experience with future generations of musicians from all over the world.

The holistic pedagogical approach adopted by the founders of the Course and Festival, Leonid and Hagit Kerbel, was intended to nurture each young talent as an individual, richly combining their musical and human potential. Working in this way, they succeeded in transmitting a message of musicianship and humanism to the hearts of thousands of young musicians, creating the powerful bonds which have become one of the trademark features of the Course and Festival. 

The Musica Mundi Course and Festival has received incredible support over the years, from his Majesty King Philippe and Her Majesty Queen Mathilde, renowned artists, enthusiastic students and loyal music lovers, support which has led to its being recognized as one of the leading institutions in the classical music world.

Artists supporting The Musica Mundi Course and Festival and the Musica Mundi School

Maxim Vengerov (Musica Mundi School Goodwill Ambassador), Mischa Maisky, Martha Argerich, Grigory Sokolov, Menahem Pressler, Nobuyuki Tsujii, Gidon Kremer, Ivry Gitlis (in memoriam), Paul Badura-Skoda (in memoriam)….

Two decades of remarkable musical and human experiences at the Musica Mundi Course and Festival were what in turn led to the creation of the Musica Mundi School.


Musica Mundi School (MMS) is a primary and secondary boarding school for highly-gifted young musicians. It exists to provide these young people with the conditions in which they can pursue a rigorous, professional musical education in parallel with a quality secondary school education programme. MMS is an all-Steinway School and a Cambridge-certified International School.

Pursuing its founding musical and humanist values, the school’s mission is to develop the musical and human potential of young talents from all over the world, exposing them to a wide range of cultures and different musical and artistic perspectives while giving them access to in-depth understanding of the different facets of music and in tandem, providing them with a high-quality programme of general education.  

This takes place in a nurturing atmosphere of mutual respect and dialogue, intended to develop in these young people the attitude of care, trust and respect within the school and wider communities.

In addition, MMS aims to become a stimulus for artistic activity, offering itself as a centre of musical excellence to the local and global community

From the outset, students receive intensive individual instrumental training in parallel to class lessons in music and general education. 

These two branches of the students’ education are integrated, to ensure that the young musicians’ personalities develop in a harmonious and balanced way:

  • given regardless of their socio-cultural origins and financial situation.
  • designed to equip students with the skills and attitudes they need to excel in their advanced musical education and careers.


In the 1920s, in the aftermath of the first world war, the King of Belgium, Albert 1st, expressed his wish to erect on the famous battlefield of Waterloo (where Napoleon was defeated on June 18, 1815) a building dedicated to peace, a monastery to pray for peace and for the victims of deadly conflicts.

In 1927 the Monastery of Fichermont was created.

In 2016, the Monastery of Fichermont was offered by the Mechelen-Brussels Archdiocese as the home for Musica Mundi School.  

Bringing together young people from all over the world, from different nationalities, cultures, and social origins, without any distinction of skin colour, sex, or religion, all playing music together, continues the original idea of praying for peace.

Like the European Union, Musica Mundi stands for “Unity in Diversity”, the values of peace, freedom, and solidarity.

Works & Inauguration ceremony

The building was erected with classical architecture, solid but elegant proportions and quality materials such as local stone, iron and wood. Internal features have been preserved – floors, wood panelling, doors, banisters in wrought iron… and great, old radiators. With its numerous rooms, dining quarters and public areas, this three-storey building over the ground floor, organized around a large quadrangle, is ideally suited to host a school. It covers some 12,000 sq. meters, allowing for the gradual expansion of the school. It has been well maintained and is in good condition. The school underwent important upgrading and adaptation so that Musica Mundi School could start operating in September 2018. The works started in January 2018 and focused mainly on acoustic, sanitary, security and electricity renovations.

An Inauguration ceremony took place on October 1st 2018 and featured numerous personalities that support the school such as Mrs. Sophie Wilmes, ex Belgian Prime Minister, representatives of Cambridge University and the Steinway factory and members of the school’s board of directors.