Résidence Artistique


The Château de Fontainebleau counts as the most important castle of France. For many centuries, the kings of France made Fontainebleau an unrivalled hotbed of artistic excellence, where artists from all over Europe would meet to work and develop ideas.

It was a place for creative work, that offered unnumerable possibilities to realize innovative ideas. With its impressing architecture, the paintings and the decorations, the castle is today a testimonial of many different generations of the artists residing there.

The Château is seeking to revive the tradition of the kind of lively hub of creativity that sprung up whenever the court was in residence, when artists would converge to satisfy the whims of the monarch. Putting art and creativity back at the heart of the Château and creating a dialogue with the palace’s rich history is the aim of the re­sidency project led by Thomas Hengelbrock and the Balthasar Neumann Ensembles, which was inaugurated in October 2020 and takes place under the patronage of UNESCO since 2021.

This residency has at its heart a resolutely European stance. Culture, and primarily music, plays a fundamental role in the European project, for it is culture that promotes and perpetuates Europe in all its diversity. The tight network of diplomatic, political and cultural relations that Fontainebleau has created with numerous countries over the centuries is an example and a source of inspiration for launching this new European cultural project.

Under the artistic direction of Thomas Hengelbrock and his Balthasar Neumann Ensembles, leading artists from all over Europe will come together, to revive the tradition of the « Foyer artistique » that has once been so typical for Fontainebleau. Artists from all disciplines will get inspired by the exceptional surrounding of the Château and its history.

Four musical weekends will punctuate the residency of Thomas Hengelbrock and the Balthasar Neumann Choir and Ensemble. Each weekend will mark the beginning of a season and will be dedicated to a theme relating to the Château’s programme of cultural events. The proposed concerts will be accompanied by lectures, discussions and music education activities. 



Under the patronage of UNESCO