Tony - profile

Tony Nys



When and where was your first concert with the MCO?

In fact I played violin in the first concert of the MCO in 1997 at the Bicentenario del Tricolore in Reggio Emilia with Claudio Abbado!

What’s the best thing about playing with the MCO?

For me it feels like a big string quartet where every musician gives the full 100% of himself.

Can you tell us something about your instrument?

I play a beautiful unknown viola made around 1720. All the experts can’t say where she was made, so she’s a big mystery...

What is the most difficult aspect of your job?

I guess finding the right balance between all the great things we can do as a musician.

The most inspiring composer:

Playing the cycle of the Beethoven string quartets in just four days was so inspiring. It felt like one amazing piece of art.


Tony Nys started his musical training at the age of five taking up violin lessons with Tomiko Shida. Later he continued his studies at the Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel with Clemens Quatacker and Philippe Hirschhorn.

Between 1994 and 1997 he was the first violin of the Fétis String Quartet and attended masterclasses with the Alban Berg Quartet, Borodin Quartet and Amadeus Quartet. Ever since chamber music has been a natural environment for him.

As a violist in the Danel Quartet from 1998 till 2005 he played worldwide in numerous festivals, recordings and performances of newly composed pieces.

Since 2005 Tony has been a fix member of the TrioFenix string trio, and he has regularly worked with ensembles such as Prometheus, Ictus, Ensemble Modern, Explorations, and Oxalys. Between 2008 and 2018 he was also a member of the Malibran String Quartet.

In addition, Tony has shared the concert stage with many renowned artists and ensembles such as the Borodin Quartet, Brodsky Quartet, Petersen Quartet, Garth Knox, Gérard Caussé, Alina Ibrahimova, Philippe Graffin and Frank Braley. Tony has a special interest in contemporary music and has worked with composers such as Helmut Lachenmann, Wolfgang Rihm, Maurizio Kagel and Pascal Dusapin.

Tony Nys played as principal viola of the La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra between 2007 and 2018. He is regularly invited for the same position by many other orchestras in Belgium, Holland, Germany and the UK.

Currently, Tony teaches viola and chamber music and is head of strings at the Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel.