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A Brussels Requiem (2017), Bert Appermont

Contest Test Pieces (1)

Date Contest Winner
25th Aug 2018 NSW State Championships (A Grade) Warringah Concert Brass

Own Choice Test Pieces (15)

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Date Contest Band Position
18th Jun 2022 Luzerner Kantonal-Musikfest (First Section-Elite) Brass Band MG Reiden 4
11th Jun 2022 Dutch Open (Championship Division) Amsterdam Brass 7
1st Dec 2019 Belgian Nationals (Championship Division) Festival Brass Band 2
24th Nov 2019 Swiss National Championships (Excellence Division) Ensemble de Cuivres Mélodia 7
13th Jul 2019 New Zealand National Championships (A Grade) Woolston Brass 2
22nd Jun 2019 Graubünden Kantonales Musikfest (First Section) Brass Band Imperial Lenzburg 1
25th May 2019 St. Galler Kantonal-Musikfest (Championship Section) Liberty Brass Band Ostschweiz 2
27th Apr 2019 European Championships Brighouse and Rastrick 9
7th Apr 2019 North American Championships (Championship Section) Fountain City 1
9th Sep 2018 Dr Martin Trust Contest Reg Vardy 3
14th Jul 2018 New Zealand National Championships (A Grade) Waitakere Auckland Brass 4
1st Apr 2018 Australian Championships (A Grade) Brisbane Excelsior (Qld) 2
1st Apr 2018 Australian Championships (A Grade) Kew Band Melbourne (Vic) 7
25th Feb 2018 French National Brass Band Championship (Honours Division) Brass Band de Lyon 3
29th Apr 2017 European Championships Brass Band Oberösterreich 10


The composition reflects on the tragic circumstances that arose from the series of terrorist attacks in the Belgian capital on March 12th 2016 that left 32 people dead and over 300 injured. However, in light of similar attacks in the UK, Europe and around the world since this time, the work also acts as a prescient touchstone on more immediate tragedies.

‘A Brussels Requiem’ is presented in four interlinked movements entitled ‘Innocence’, ‘In Cold Blood’, ‘In Memoriam – We Shall Rise Again’ and ‘A New Day’. It does not describe the attacks but instead reflects on why the events occurred and the resultant complex emotions triggered by the raw fear as well as the more subtle anxieties in people’s attitudes and understanding of others; anger, grief and disbelief.

The composer pays tribute to the innocent lives lost in an emotive central section of remembrance, before bringing a passionate sense of hopefulness to the search for a new age of communal understanding.

This is achieved through the development of a linear narrative based on the children’s song, ‘Au Claire de la Lune’, which is used throughout; first as a symbol of innocence destroyed, but ultimately of potential redemption.

The composer also expresses his own personal hopefulness through a series of beautifully realised lyrical episodes and solos – emphasising the gradual atmosphere of change that grows in determination and passion to overcome grief and sorrow.

This piece was commissioned by Brass Band Oberosterreich in Austria, it received its world premiere at the 2017 European Brass Band Championship in Oostende.

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