After organ studies at the Conservatory of Music in his hometown in the class of Hubert Schoonbroodt, he continued his studies with Xavier Darasse, Bernard Lagacé and Gustav Leonhardt. His participation in the International Festival of Contemporary Art in Royan in 1974 was the starting point for an international career.
As an organist he is known for his recordings of the organ works of Bach. He is connected with both baroque and contemporary music. He is professor of musical analysis at the Conservatoire de Liège, and has written numerous works for his instrument, but also chamber works for, notably, the viola da gamba .
In January 1992, he succeeded Gerard Mortier as Director of the Théâtre royal de la Monnaie and remained in the role until 2007 when Peter de Caluwe took over. He became head of the International Festival of Lyric Art of Aix-en-Provence on January 1, 2007, succeeding Stéphane Lissner.
He wrote the preface of the Dictionary of Dancers, Choreographers and Dance Masters in Brussels from 1600 to 1830 by Jean-Philippe Van Aelbrouck, published in Liege in 1994 by Pierre Mardaga.
He is the president of the Opera Europa at Brussels, bringing together 104 member companies in 33 countries. He is also associate member of the Royal Academy of Belgium in the class “Technology and Society.”