Young Belgian Talent


A lifetime’s ambition of the founder, Harley Lovegrove, Young Belgian Talent was originally established by the three Managing Partners of The Bayard Partnership, in January 2010. Together, they decided to set up a long-term outreach program to identify and support young classical Musicians that, without additional external support, would find themselves disadvantaged to reach their ambitions and goals. After four very successful years, in 2015 The founders decided to convert their initiative into a standalone registered charity. In doing so, YBT was opened up to a wider group of business sponsors and professional experts. Today the tri-annual YBT competition is considered to be among the most important competition for young classical musicians living Belgium.


In the mid 1970’s I attended Morley College of music in London, while my best friend at the time studied piano at The Royal College of Music. And although he came from a comfortable middle-class family background, he found it tough financially to cover his study costs, especially when he took on additional classes under Fanny Waterman and was obliged to regularly travel two hundred miles or more from London to Leeds. I remember that my friend had the enormous luck in finding a sponsor to cover some of his costs but this sponsor was far from ideal, and I made a vow that if I ever found myself in the position to help young musicians one day, I surely would.

Later, as an adult and with a business of my own, I realized that apart from outstanding music teachers, young musicians require much more than just financial sponsorship to become professional soloists.

Today, I am proud to say that thanks to the fantastic support I received from my business partners, friends and colleagues in the early days and the continuing support from all those connected to YBT, our not for profit organisation is becoming more famous and effective every day and is now on a path to sustainability. We are by no means there yet but we’re getting there!

An excerpt from ‘Making a Difference’ by Harley Lovegrove:

Understanding the skills & characteristics required for any given profession.
A successful concert pianist may be driven to become the best in his or her profession, or inspired by the love of music, or quite possibly motivated by the warm glow they feel when they receive a standing ovation. This brief moment of glory is worth all those thousands of hours of practice. The most talented musicians may never make it, simply because for them the pain is not worth the gain. Even minor criticism can be enough to tilt the balance and put them off performing for life. Consequently, successful concert pianists are a rare breed of people whose natural talent is more than matched by a combination of ego, discipline, drive, motivation, and an arrogance that never allows them to give up or admit defeat. On top of all those characteristics they also have to be good communicators with a great deal of charisma, so as to charm not only their public but their sponsors and entourage too.

A top class concert pianist needs to have the following attributes:

  1. Massive self-belief

  2. Discipline

  3. Ambition

  4. Outstanding talent

  5. Motivation & drive

  6. Strong communication skills

  7. Charisma

  8. Physical and intellectual stamina

If they do not have all eight, their chances of international success are slim.