Raphaella SMITS
Corsendonk 1984









press kit





Jose Tomas - Raphaella Smits José Tomās and Raphaella Smits

Corsendonk Priory Corsendonk Priory

Den Rooy Conference Center
Den Rooy Conference Center

Lodewijck Van Male
Lodewijck Van Male

Alden Biesen
Landcommandery Alden Biesen


When on tour in Spain in 1983, Raphaella visited her former teacher José (Pepe) Tomàs in Alicante. Back home she decided that young Belgian guitar students should get the opportunity to experience some master classes of this great maestro.

As a result of Raphaella's initiative the cultural society Academix organized summer classes for classical guitar from 1984 till 1995, well known as the "Academix International Guitar Happenings".

In total over 350 participants from 28 different countries have enjoyed the rural surroundings and the comfort of typical Flemish venues like
Corsendonk Priory,
Den Rooy conference center,
Lodewijck Van Male hotel
or Landcommandery Alden Biesen.

They were inspired and got charged up by the finest guitarists and teachers of these times like José Tomàs, David Russell, Jorge Cardoso, Oscar Ghiglia, Hubert Käppel, Godelieve Monden, Roberto Aussel, the late Ian Davies, Gerald Garcia, Jorge Morel, John Canning, Ben verdery, Nicholas Goluses, Philippe Malfeyt and Ahmet Kanecci.

On top of that they were pampered with exclusive recitals by the guitarists mentioned above plus artists like Jos Van Immerseel (harpsichord), Guy De Mey (tenor), Lena Lootens (soprano), Roel Dieltiens (cello), duo Sonare (guitarists Thomas Offermann and Jens Wagner), as well as lectures by Miro Simic (nail care) and Kolya Panhuyzen (guitar maintenance) and exhibitions by many international guitar builders.

Living close together with 25 to 35 people, almost in quarantine and miles from anywhere, with your guitar teachers at hand in class, at the meals, in the bar ... there was a unique and distinctive atmosphere, conspiratorial sure, but instructive by all means. After participation to one or more Academix Guitar Happenings, one would return home with ineffaceable memories and with friendships to last a lifetime.

Without a doubt, all credit for the success of these summer classes is due to Raphaella Smits, a perfect host for colleagues as well as for students, a great performer and an empathic teacher that makes a lasting impression on every participant.

Read more about Raphaella's ...
- Childhood
- Student days
- International Guitar Happening Initiative

Jose Tomas José Tomàs
David Russell David Russell
Jorge Cardoso Jorge Cardoso
Oscar Ghiglia Oscar Ghiglia
Hubert Käppel Hubert Käppel
Roberto Aussel Roberto Aussel
Ian Davies Ian Davies (1954-2003)
Gerald Garcia Gerald Garcia
Jorge Morel Jorge Morel
Ben Verdery Ben Verdery
Nicholas Goluses Nicholas Goluses
Ahmet Kanecci Ahmet Kanecci