Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Inside fancy Brussels: Finger-food and violin concert

Every year, the German state North Rhine-Westphalia organizes the Förderpreis (prize for young artists — under 35) since 1957. The laureate in the Music category (among painting, film, architecture, poetry, media art, and theater) for 2012, is Christina Brabetz, an 18 year old violinist. Not surprising for the winner of the TONALi 2010 Grand Prix of Hamburg. The Landesvertretung Nordrhein-Westfalen (in German: representative office of North Rhine-Westphalia) at the European Union cordially invited some important people — read parliamentarians, representatives, NGOs or... their lucky interns — to a festive violin concert. It took place yesterday in the Theater de Vaudeville (downtown Brussels).

I was among the few non-German (speaking) persons there.

This kind of events is perfect for interns (regardless your interests: social, law, politics, etc.) to meet key persons and possibly make contact with organizations. You better come equipped and ready: suit-up (tie mandatory), bring your cartes de visite, and don't come with an empty stomach or you'll savagely jump on the ladies with the food tray. And that's rude!

Seriously, interns usually only stay between 3 to 6 months in an organization in Brussels. But what's next? Most NGOs don't have the fundings to hire them. That's why it's critical to mingle with important people dressed-up with ties. To keep you up at your highest level of social skills, there are these bottles of Champagne rosée and plenty of delicious finger-foods everywhere. I must have had like 20 of them (snacks)!

The concert itself was great! Christina felt like inspired when she was playing the violin. The marvelous theater created a cozy atmosphere in which the public intimately listened to the artist (joined by the pianist Christian Köln on the Steinway & Sons instrument) interpreting Tartini, Beethoven, Brahms & Saint-Saëns for 90mn. I'm sure my senior neighbor didn't mean to be offensive when he fell asleep. As someone said that night: 
"In Brussels, you become fat, lazzy, and unthanksful because of getting use to be served everything on a silver plate".
Anyway, really good music! The party continued with wines of the two last colors. Yet, invitees appeared rather hungry as they threw themselves towards the food. These cheese-balls were worth a fight though. A chilled atmosphere reigned until the end of this evening of leisure. Contacts have been made, lunchs have been booked, invitations sent over e-mail, interns got free food/drink; everybody got their own objectives reached.

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