Ria Bollen is a Belgian alto who, between 1965 and 1992, had an international career as a concert singer.
After her classical humanities, she started studying psychology, but after two years she did not continue. She went to the Royal Flemish Conservatory in Antwerp to study singing with Lucie Frateur. She would continue to guide her throughout her career. She graduated in 1968 with the greatest distinction. But she also studied with Pierre Bernac, Felix de Nobel, Erik Werba and Christa Ludwig.
She made her debut as a soloist before she graduated, in 1965, in Godelieve by Edgar Tinel under the direction of Léonce Gras.
After her debut she sang only one operarol, Geneviève's debut in Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande in a Munt production in November-December 1973. She also graduated for the first prize of the ‘Maria Canals’ competition in Barcelona, in 1967.
Later she became laureate of four more prestigious competitions: the ‘International Vocal Competition’ in 's-Hertogenbosch (1968), the ‘Internationaler Musikwettbewerb der ARD’ (1969), the ‘Concours international d'exécution musicale de Genève’, in which she the first prize was won (1970), and the ‘Internationaler Wettbewerb für Gesang’ from the ‘Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien’, better known as the ‘Wiener Musikverein’ (1972).
Her repertoire was extensive. She sang works with orchestra or chamber orchestra. And her song repertoire, which she often performed with pianist Jozef De Beenhouwer, was also very extensive. It is also worth noting that she had the complete songs of Clara Schumann on her repertoire.
Besides the large repertoire she also sang a lot of work by Belgian composers, such as Peter Benoit, René Defossez, Jef van Hoof, Marinus de Jong, Willem Kersters, Lodewijk Mortelmans, Flor Peeters and David Van de Woestijne.
She performed in Israel, Japan, Canada and the Soviet Union, but of course mainly in Western Europe, and especially in the German-speaking part, besides - of course - Belgium and the Netherlands. She sang in many festivals, such as the Festival of Flanders, the Berliner Festwochen, the Wiener Festwochen, the Carinthischer Sommer and the International Bachakademie Stuttgart. She made studio recordings for radio and TV in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, France, Luxembourg and Switzerland. And of course she could be heard in a large number of well-known and less well-known concert halls throughout Western Europe.
One performance deserves special mention. On 4 April 1981, Bach's St Matthew Passion was conducted in the large (golden) Wiener Musikverein, conducted by Peter Schreier. It was a concert in memory of the recently deceased Karl Richter († 15.02.1981), under whose direction Ria Bollen also sung, and in this memoriam concert she sang the altarias.
Well-known conductors under whose direction she sang inspired her: Léonce Gras, Felix de Nobel, Karl Richter, Peter Schreier, Herbert Blomstedt, Eduard Flipse, John Eliot Gardiner, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Christopher Hogwood, Heinrich Hollreiser, Ferdinand Leitner, Igor Markevitsj, Georges Prêtre, Karl Richter, Helmuth Rilling, Gennadi Rozjdestvenski, Paul Sacher, Leif Segerstam, Hans Swarowsky, Michael Tilson Thomas and André Vandernoot.
After her studies at the Royal Music Conservatory of Gent where she was having a singers education of Zeger Vandersteene and Paule Daloze, Anne Cambier continues to qualify herself with the well-known singing teacher Noëlle Barker at the London Guildhall School of Music and Drama. At the same time, she follows numerous master classes with Suzanne Danco, Hugues Quenod, Thomas Hampson, Geoffrey Parsons, Thomas Hemsley, Graham Johnson and Paul Hamburger. During her stay in London she already plays a number of roles at various British opera companies and she regularly collaborates with 'Les Arts Florissants' by William Christie.
Since 1996 her career has been booming thanks to her semi-final place in the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 1996. She is asked by most Belgian orchestras and works with conductors such as C.Hogwood, A.Pappano, S.Ozawa, R.Goebel, P.Goodwin, P.Dombrecht, and G.Octors, Frank Agsteribbe, Dirk Brossé, …
In 1997, Anne Cambier debuted at the Munt in Brussels. She’s asked for a whole series of opera roles.
Anne Cambier has an extensive song repertoire: Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Clara Schumann, Brahms, Wolf, Fauré, Poulenc, Debussy, Ravel, Gounod, Strauss, Argento, Bernstein, Barber, Pauwels, Lodewijk Mortelmans, Reylandt…
She regularly gives concerts and recitals accompanied by pianists such as Maiko Inoué, Levente Kende, Jozef De Beenhouwer, Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden, Jan Vermeulen (fortepiano), and other musicians such as Sophie Hallynck, Peter Van de Velde, Roeland Hendrickx, Walter Boeykens, …
She shines in the baroque repertoire with an exceptionally smooth voice. She is a regular guest at baroque orchestras such as Musica Antiqua Köln, Les Agrémens, Il Fondamento, The Academy of Ancient Music, La Petite Bande, but she also plays regularly with her own baroque ensemble, I Justiniani.
She also performs a large number of projects from a completely different genre including Hans Peter Janssens, Gabriel Rios, Michel Bisceglia, and the Ensemble Quartz.
Cristel De Meulder obtained the First Prize in Chamber Music and the Higher Diploma for Vocals at the Royal Flemish Music Conservatory in Antwerp. She obtained her Master's degree at the Royal Music Conservatory in Brussels. She has specialized in sound-oriented singing with Lut Lemmens and Ingrid Voermans (NL) of the 'Lichtenberger Institut für Gesang und Instrumentalspiel' (D). Cristel De Meulder teaches at the Academy for Music and Word of Hemiksem at Antwerp. She is the founder / conductor of the women's ensemble 'Voces Aequales' and conductor of the Illuciakoor from Puurs.
Her repertoire includes a wide range: oratorios, cantatas, passions, orchestral masses, chamber music and the classical religious repertoire for all occasions. Her cooperation as a soloist is regularly asked for various projects from old to contemporary music and this not only in her own country but also in many European countries.
As a member of the Currende Consort conducted by Erik Van Nevel she performed several times as a soloist. She regularly lends her cooperation to the contemporary ensemble 'Aquarius', conducted by Marc De Smet. She co-created the cantate and opera 'Aquarius' by Karel Goeyvaerts and 'Treurlied om Kayano' on lyrics by Marcel Pira, edited by Noor Sommereyns. With this production she went to Japan in November 2007 (including Osaka, Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Tokyo).
Her preference is also for the romantic profane and spiritual Flemish repertoire with works for solo voice accompanied by organ, harmonium or piano. She has been making music with the organist / harpsichordist Jan Van Mol since 1995. Their organ and vocal programs have been highly appreciated throughout Europe for many years, the Philippines (‘Bamboo Organ Festival’ at Las Pi༚s), ;, in South America and Asia.
As a duo they have released 4 CDs with great acclaim: ‘Exsultate, Jubilate’ (Famous Sacred Songs), ‘Tota Pulchra Es’ (Vlaamse religieuze melodieën), ‘Cantio Sacra’(kleine solokantates met concerterend orgel), ‘Ieder jaar komt Kerstmis weer’ (Vlaamse Kerstliederen) and ‘Laudate Dominum’ (Famous Sacred Songs II).
In 1998 they founded the Calcant vzw (www.calcant.be). Besides the fascinating organ projects, there is a great vocal contribution. Together with the Dutch pianist / organist Ad van Sleuwen they have a program with original music for singing, harmonium and piano.
Cristel De Meulder works closely with the International Circle of Friends Anton van Wilderode (www.antonvanwilderodeinternationaal.be). With the poet Beatrijs Van Craenenbroeck she has accompanied a program with poetry by piano or guitar. She has also a programm accompanied by the kanklès. HFor this she works together with the Lithuanian musician Kristina Kuprytè.
Cristel De Meulder is artistic director of the Artists Fund that works in the St.-Carolus Borromeus Church in Antwerp. (www.artiestenfonds.be). She is involved in the programming of the Feugère organ concerts in the St.-Martinus church in Kontich.
2004 - Weihnachtsoratorium St-Carolus-Borromeus
During her education, the Belgian soprano Liesbeth Devos debuted in De Munt (Brussels) as 'Despina' in 'Così Fan Tutte'. After this first success she was asked again for the interpretation of 'Ilse' in the world premiere 'Frühlingserwachen' by Mernier, and 'Papagena' in 'Die Zauberflöte'.
In 2006, Liesbeth sang Second Woman in Dido and Aeneas under the direction of Richard Egarr, who then invited her to the 'Johannes-Passion' with 'The Academy of Ancient Music' in Weimar. Two years later he again engaged her for a tour through Asia with Haydn's 'Nelson Messe'. Liesbeth sang 'Barbarina' in the Aix-en-Provence production (2007) of 'Le Nozze di Figaro' directed by Vincent Boussard and a year later in the Flemish Opera. She then performed 'Lucia' in 'The Rape of Lucretia', 'First Niece' in Peter Grimes and she had a remarkable success with the leading role 'Helena' in the world premiere 'The Rage of Life' by Kats-Chernin. With this last opera she also traveled to Rotterdam (Operadagen), Miskolz (Festival Miskolz, HU) and Stuttgart (Staatsoper).
In 2010 Liesbeth Devos made her debut in the Opéra de Wallonie as 'Xunchia' in 'L'inimico delle Donne' under the direction of Rinaldo Alessandrini. With him she sang a year later concerts in Boston, where her interpretation of 'Stabat Mater' and 'Salve Regina' by Pergolesi with the 'Händel and Haydn Society' was enthusiastically received by the press.
Also in 2011 she sang successfully the role of 'Melpomène' in 'Atys' by Lully under the direction of William Christie and 'Les Arts Florissants' in Versailles and New York. Liesbeth is grand in the role of ‘Elvira’, Maestro Campanella wrote about her interpretation in 'L'Italiana' in 'Algeri' in the 'Opéra de Wallonie' in 2013. 'With intense joy (...) I admired her beautiful voice and rock-solid technique. Liesbeth recently made a noticed debut as ‘Zerlina’ with Le Concert d'Anvers.
Liesbeth Devos is a popular concert singer and already sang an extensive repertoire with numerous orchestras. With 'l'Orchester Dijon Bourgogne' she sang in 2012 'Symphony nr. 4' by Mahler under the direction of Gergeley Madaras who again invited her to 'Ein Deutches Requiem' in 2014. Liesbeth has numerous performances of 'Les Illuminations' by Britten on her honors list. Her love for contemporary music does’t go unnoticed by composers.
Together with 'Het Collectief' she created 'De Feesten van Angst en Pijn' by Van Camp (Ars Musica Festival, B). Liesbeth also excels as a Lied singer and became the finalist of the Wigmore Hall / Independent Opera Voice Fellowship (2011).
Together with pianist Lucas Blondeel she was among the last 13 candidates of the Wigmore Hall Song Competition 2011 (London), finalist of the Bayrische Rundfunk Liedwettbewerb (Bayreuth) and won the first prize at the Kurt-Leimer Wettbewerb (Zürich). In 2012 they were the only European Lied duo guest at the Ravinia Festival, Chicago.
Future projects include Ein Deutches Requiem with l'Orchester Dijon Burgundy, Dido Abbandonata with Il Fondamento, Euridice in Orfeo and Euridice with Le Concert d'Anvers and numerous Lied recitals with Jozef De Beenhouwer and Lucas Blondeel both in Belgium and abroad.
Liesbeth Devos is very grateful for winning several exhibitions offered by the Piet Stautkring, Belgacom, Spes, Inspiratum, Robus, Oranje Beurs and Nany Philippart. For her dedication as an interpreter of Belgian music she was awarded the Pelemans prize. Pedagogues like Lieve Suys, Stephanie Friede, Patricia McCaffrey, Lucienne Van Deyck and pianists Jozef De Beenhouwer and Lucas Blondeel are enduring values in the career of Liesbeth Devos.
On 12.09.2012 Liesbeth Devos, accompanied by Jozef De Beenhouwer, sang in the KBC Tower in Antwerp, on the occasion of the exhibition 'The family Mortelmans and its artists'.
Tenor Peter Gijsbertsen graduated cum laude from the Conservatory of Utrecht. He received the John Christie Award shortly thereafter in Glyndebourne. He was also a triple winner at the International Vocal Competition Den Bosch, including the main prize for Lied, after which he performed with solo recitals in Het Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and De Doelen in Rotterdam.
Opera roles that Peter has already sung are Acis in Acis and Galatea by Händel (Opéra de Fribourg), The Novice in Billy Budd by Britten (Bolshoi Theater, Glyndebourne, Brooklyn Academy of Music), Tamino in Die Zauberflöte by Mozart (Opera Oviedo), Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and Ferrando in Così Fan Tutte by Mozart (Ministry of Operational Affairs).
Among the performed concert and oratorio repertoire include the tenorsolo's in the Mattheus Passion by Bach (Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, released on DVD at Art house), Kammermusik 1958 by H.W. Henze (NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, released on CD at Wergo), Pulcinella by Stravinsky (Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest).
Peter recorded several CD's with the label Phaedra including a Schubert CD which received rave reviews. A recording with Strauss songs was released in the spring of 2017.
With the release end of 2017 of the CD 'De Kinderen der Zee' by Phaedra, Mortelmans's masterful opera survived, albeit fragmentarily.
Liesbeth Devos & Peter Gijsbertsen - Neerdorpen Klassiek 28.04.2016
An Lauwereins has been playing leading roles in opera, operetta and musical for over 20 years, and she is regularly asked as a soloist in concerts.
How did she get there? In addition to her Applied Economics studies at the University Faculties Sint Ignatius in Antwerp, she attended a vocational training course with her private professor Ms. Maria Verhaert, and followed a course of perfectionism at the music conservatory in Vienna. This quickly led to a series of important references.
In 2010 she played 'Mother Superior' in 'The sound of Music', her dream came true having played both the mother and the daughter role in her favorite musical. For this she was nominated for a Flemish musical award.
In that season she also played the female lead in 'Die Fledermauss'. Afterwards she played with great enthusiasm the Misstress of the orphanage in 'Oliver', for which she was also nominated for a Flemish musical award.
Today she devotes herself more and more to the teaching of young people in addition to her work as an executive artist.
Accompanied by Gabriel Hollander, she has performed several Lieder of Lodewijk Mortelmans.
The Swedish soprano Nina Stemme is today in great demand from the major opera houses worldwide. She is regularly invited as a guest at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, La Scala in Milan, the Wiener Staatsoper, the Opera Bastille in Paris, the Royal Opera House in London and in the opera houses in Stockholm, Zurich, Munich, Barcelona, Houston and San Fransisco, where in recent years she has interpreted a variety of roles, such as Isolde (Tristan and Isolde), Brünnhilde (Wagner's Ring Cycle), Elisabeth (Tannhäuser), Turandot, Minnie (La Fanciulla del West), Tosca, Ariadne, Salome , The Marschallin (Der Rosenkavalier), and Leonore (Fidelio).
Nina Stemme's roles were received with great applause by both the public and the press, and in 2013 she was the first to receive the 'Opera Award for Best Female Singer'. Nina Stemme was awarded as 'Swedish Court Singer' in 2006, and 'Austrian Kammersängerin' in 2012, and was elected 'Singer of the Year' in 2005 and again in 2012, by the 'German magazine Opernwelt'.
She was greatly applauded in her role as 'Isolde' in a production by Christof Loy from Tristan und Isolde at the Royal Opera House in London, which earned her the 'Laurence Olivier Award for Best Role Interpretation' in 2010. Nina Stemme was also honored with the 'Swedish Royal medal' 'Litteris et Artibus' and the Italian 'Premio Abbiati'.
Since her debut as Cherubino in Cortona, Italy 1989, her repertoire includes Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus), Mimi (La Bohème), Cio-Cio-San (Madama Butterfly), Manon Lescaut, Tatiana (Eugene Onegin), Katerina (Greek Passion) , Suor Angelica, Euridice (Orfeo ed Euridice), Katerina (Lady Macbeth or Mtsensk), Countess (Le nozze di Figaro), Marguerite (Faust), Agathe (Der Freischutz), Marie (Wozzeck), Nyssia (König Kandaules), Jenufa , Arabella, Eva (Die Meistersinger), Elsa (Lohengrin), Senta (Der fliegende Holländer), Sieglinde (Die Walküre), Amelia (Un ballo in machera), Leonora (La forza del destino), and Aida. Nina Stemme has performed on a large number of opera venues and festivals including Bayreuth, Salzburg, Savonlinna, Glyndebourne, Bregenz and the BBC Proms in London.
Among Nina Stemme's CD recordings there are: Fidelio with Claudio Abbado (Decca), Tristan and Isolde with Sir Antonio Pappano (EMI 2005) and Marek Janowski (PentaTone 2012), Die Walküre with Valéry Gergiev (Mariinsky), Tannhäuser with Marek Janowski (PentaTone ), Greek Passion (Koch Schwann), König Kandaules (Andante), The Flying Dutchman (Chandos), final scenes from Salome and Capriccio and Strauss' Vier letzte Lieder (EMI).
Nina Stemme also sings Lieder on Phaedra CDs - In Flanders' Fields (nr.33 - Song of Mignon Lodewijk Mortelmans, and the Wesendonck Lieder of R. Wagner Op. Nr.40 with The Swedish Chamber Orchestra and Thomas Dausgaard).
In addition, the recordings of La Fanciulla del West, Der Rosenkavalier, La forza del destino, Tristan and Isolde, Aida, and Jenufa are available on DVD.
The Belgian bass baritone Werner Van Mechelen studied with Roland Bufkens at the Lemmens Institute in Leuven. He attended master classes of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Malcolm King, Robert Holl and with the Lied duo Mitsuko Shirai and Hartmut Höll.
Werner Van Mechelen won various prizes at international competitions, including the Queen Elisabeth Contest (Brussels), Vocalist Competition ('s-Hertogenbosch), Concours International de Chant (Toulouse) and the Concurs Viñas (Barcelona). At this last competition he also won the special Schubert prize. With great success he participated in the well-known BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.
Werner Van Mechelen is a versatile artist. Performances of the great Passions and Oratoria, as well as of songs with orchestra, brought him to many leading venues in Brussels, Amsterdam, Cologne, Geneva, Paris, Barcelona, Tel Aviv, etc.
As an opera singer he is a guest in many theaters. His repertoire consists of about sixty parts from different style periods: he plays all major Mozart parties, such as Don Giovanni or Leporello Don Giovanni, Figaro or the Count Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Alfonso or Guglielmo Così Fan Tutte, Papageno Die Zauberflöte, but also Pizarro Fidelio, Graf Eberbach from Der Wildschütz, Dandini from La Cenerentola, title role Rigoletto, Ford Falstaff, Varlaam Boris Godunov, Schaunard or Marcello La Bohème, Sonora La Fanciulla del West, Karnac Le Roi d'Ys, Mandryka Arabella, Tierbändiger and Athlet Lulu, title role Wozzeck, Gyges Der König Kandaules, the Forester Sly Fox, Nekrotzar Le Grand Macabre, etc. The Wagner repertoire holds a special place in Werner Van Mechelen's career: Wotan Das Rheingold, Wolfram Tannhäuser, Kothner Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Alberich Der Ring des Nibelungen. After successful performances at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie (with TV broadcast on RTBF), he interpreted the role of Alberich at De Nederlandse Opera and De Vlaamse Opera. He lends his support to the complete Ring cycle in the Teatro La Fenice of Venice. Amfortas Parsifal and Kurwenal Tristan und Isolde are among the future plans.
Werner Van Mechelen has already performed at the Opera Houses of Antwerp, Ghent, Brussels, Liège, Amsterdam, Zurich, Linz, Dortmund, Cologne, Paris, Nancy, Avignon, Venice, Seoul, etc. He has worked with conductors such as James Conlon, Patrick Davin, Roy Goodman, Hartmut Haenchen, Lothar Koenigs, Bernhard Kontarsky, Ton Koopman, Sigiswald Kuijken, Friedemann Layer, Antonio Pappano, Stefan Soltesz, Jeffrey Tate, Silvio Varviso, Mark Wigglesworth and many others.
Werner Van Mechelen has a strong bond with the genre of the Lied. He sings all major Lieder cycles (Schubert, Schumann, Mahler), but also less well-known repertoire. His partners are pianists Jozef De Beenhouwer, Christel Kessels, Eric Schneider and others.
Besides recordings for radio and television, both in Belgium and for foreign stations, Werner Van Mechelen also made recordings of baroque music, songs by Richard Strauss, Claude Debussy, Francis Poulenc, Lodewijk Mortelmans and Peter Benoit. With Dynamic, the DVD of Le Roi d'Ys from the Opéra Royal de Wallonie appeared. Integral CD recordings were made of the oratorio Elias and of the operas Livietta e Tracollo (Pergolesi), Don Giovanni, Le Nozze di Figaro, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Das Rheingold.
On May 11th 2014, accompanied by Peter Vanhove on piano and Jaak Gregoor, conductor of the 'Metropolis Orchestra & Choir' Werner Van Mechelen sang some Lieder of Lodewijk Mortelmans in the C.C. De Kern in Wilrijk, as part of the Metropolis Sunday matinees.
Hendrickje Van Kerckhove (soprano) studied at the conservatory of Antwerp and then joined the Opera Studio Vlaanderen and the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, where she was coached by Susanne Eken and José Van Dam.
Hendrickje sang with conductors as Philippe Herreweghe, Kazushi Ono, Patrick Fournillier, Ivan Törzs, Michel Tilkin, Enrique Mazzola, Zubin Mehta, M. Barbacini, Marc Soustrot, Paul Daniel, Patrick Davin, Pierre Cao, Ed Spanjaard, Andreas Spering, Bertrand de Billy, Theodor Guschlbauer, Louis Langrée, J. Cl. Casadesus, Walter Weller, Christoph Spering, Roland Böer, David Afkham, Hervé Nilquet and Ingo Metzmacher, and collaborated with directors such as Guy Joosten, Christopher Loy, Luc Bondy, Ivo Van Hove, Fr. Dussenne, Robert Carsen, Kasper Holten, David MacVicar, Harry Kupfer, Romeo Castellucci, Matthew Jocelyn Waut Koeken, Katie Mitchell and the duo Leiser Caurier.
In concert she can be heard regularly with all major Belgian orchestras: Brussels Philharmonic & VRK, Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen, deFilharmonie, Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, Nationaal Orkest van België. She also performed with the Ensemble Orchester de Paris (Théatre des Champs Elysées), Camerata Academica Salzburg (Musiktriennale Köln), the RSO / ORF Wien (in the Musikverein Wien and the Brucknerhaus Linz), das Neue Orchester (TCE, Paris) het Residentieorkest Den Haag and Le Concert Spirituel Dixit Dominus, Händel.
On June 22th 2014, Hendrickje Van Kerckhove, accompanied by Bart Rodyns, sang a few Lieder by Lodewijk Mortelmans at the 'House of Oscar' in Lier, following the finissage of the exhibition: 'Franck Mortelmans, friend of Oscar Van Rompay'.
Zeger Vandersteene studied at the Sint-Lievens College in Ghent. He already sang the soprano solos as a boy in the formerly known 'Schola Cantorum' (Sint-Baafskathedraal) in Ghent. For four years he sang the Gregorian proprium songs and the great polyphonists, but also Bach, Händel, and a lot of romantic music.
Vandersteene studied civil engineering at the UGent, but decided to choose music. He worked on his singing talent with well-known singers and specialists, both in the sector of the 'authentic approach', and with the interpreters of contemporary music. His coach wass Yva Barthelemy. As a light tenor he studied and sang among specialists such as Nicolaus Harnoncourt, Frans Bruggen, John Eliot Gardiner, Philippe Herreweghe and Ton Koopman for ancient and baroque music. For the more contemporary repertoire he sang with Henri Pousseur, Peter Schat and Reinbert de Leeuw. Internationally, he made recordings for, among others, Harmonia Mundi and Erato.
He sings in music centers in Eastern and Western Europe, the United States, Mexico, South America, Israel and Japan. His repertoire is extensive, from Gregorian chant over the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque to contemporary. He mainly focused on Oratorio and other vocal works with orchestra. Yet he also performed many Baroque operas and worked with various conductors.
He himself created six contemporary operas on the international scene (Munich, Venice, Berlin, Amsterdam and Zurich). He made around 50 LP and CDs, and gaved masterclasses in Japan, Mexico, Austria and in Bruges. He is a guest professor at the University of Mexico City (Conservatorio Nacional), at the Nihon University of Tokyo and the Mukogawa University in Osaka.
In June 2005 he was invited to give a concert with the Pioneer Symphonic Orchestra on the 'Belgian Day' of the world exhibition in Aichi (Japan), in which he performed Lodewijk Mortelmans' and Samuel's orchestral Lieder, alongside Japanese Lieder.
He is honorary professor at the Department of Music and Drama at the Hogeschool in Ghent. In 2012 he received the 'Klara Career Award'.
LINK : 2005 Aicha Japan - Zeger Vandesteene
VIDEO : Closing concert on 14.06.2005 - The Belgian National Day
Nina Ardashirova is one of the outspoken representatives of Moscow's piano school.
She studied at the Tschaikowsky Conservatory and after her studies she received a post-academic training with the world-famous Prof. dr. S. Dorensky and Prof. dr. M. Mezlumov. Nina Ardashirova was the laureate of the national competitions of the USSR. She performed in the best concert buildings of Moscow, St. Petersburg, Riga and many others.
She has a broad repertoire, covering all piano styles from Baroque to contemporary music. Nina Ardashirova performs with orchestras for, among others, concerts by Rachmaninov, Tschaikowsky, Beethoven, Saint-Saëns and others.
In Belgium, Nina Ardashirova is also known as a pedagogue and performer of chamber music. She regularly performs in, among others, the Bozar, in the Brussels Conservatory, the Rubens House in Antwerp. And forms a very strong duo with her daughter Eugenia Graut, violinist, who enjoys fame in Belgium and throughout Europe.
Some of Nina Ardashirova's performances were recorded by the RTBF in Brussels, the ZDR in Baden-Baden and the Radio in Moscow.
On 12.02.2015 Nina Ardashirova played in the House Mortelmans for the circle ‘Koperen Passer'.
Lucas Blondeel was born in Brussels in 1981. Only four years old did he start making music, on a 19th-century pianoforte, which was for sale in the antique shop of his parents. He studied piano with Levente Kende and Heidi Hendrickx at the Royal Flemish Conservatory of Antwerp, where he received the degree of Master in Music in June 2004 with the greatest distinction, after which he moved to Berlin to study at the Universität der Künste with Professor Klaus Hellwig. At a young age Lucas Blondeel became a laureate of national piano competitions.
He became a Cantabile laureate three times and in 2002 won the first prize at the international piano competition 'Emmanuel Durlet' in Antwerp. In 2005 followed a third prize at the Arthur-Schnabel-Wettbewerb in Berlin and the first prize at the Kurt-Leimer-Wettbewerb in Zurich. At the Concours de Genève he won the special prize for the best execution of a Swiss work. In 2007 he finished with the six best pianists worldwide at the renowned Clara Haskil Competition in Vevey. He also became semi-finalist of the Queen Elisabeth Competition. In 2011 he became laureate of the World Piano Competition in Cincinnati.
Since 1995, Lucas Blondeel has been on various stages in Belgium, Finland, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Germany, Bulgaria, the United States and France. In addition to his career as a soloist, he also likes working in chamber music. He is regularly heard in a piano duo with Nicolas Callot, with clarinettist Annelien Van Wauwe and as a song duo with soprano Liesbeth Devos. As a Lied accompanist Lucas Blondeel specialized with big names like Irwin Gage, Helmut Deutsch, Roger Vignoles, Rudolf Jansen and Hartmut Höll.
In 2008 he was rewarded with the prize for best song accompanist at the Song Contest of the Bayerische Rundfunk.
Lucas Blondeel studied for years pianoforte with Jos Van Immerseel, Bart Van Oort and Malcolm Bilson. He is convinced that historical performance practice can also play an essential role on the modern wing and hopes to bring these two worlds closer together.
His first CD (Impromptus by Schubert, recorded for Klara) was received very positively by both criticism and public. A following recording with Haydn's music was released in May 2010 under the Cyprès label, including a Lied with Liesbeth Devos.
Lucas Blondeel is laureate of two major German scholarships awarded by the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben and the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes. Since November 2012 he teaches piano at the Conservatory of Darmstadt.
Jozef de Beenhouwer ( °1948 - Brasschaat) studied at the Music Chapel Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Argenteuil and at the Royal Flemish Music Conservatory in Antwerp with the Belgian pianist Lode Backx, where he obtained the Higher Diploma for piano in 1975 with the greatest distinction. A few years later he won the Annie Rutzky Prize.
From 1991 to 1999 he studied with David Kimball in Firenze, Italy.
Jozef de Beenhouwer has performed in many large concert halls throughout Europe, where: the Vienna Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Salzburg Mozarteum, Dresden Semper Oper, Berlin Schauspielhaus, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Rotterdam concerthall De Doelen, London Purcell Room, Lisbon Gulbenkian Foundation. He also performed several times in the USA (including Boston, New York, Phoenix).
Together with Kees Hülsmann and Marien van Staalen, resp. Konzertmeister and cello soloist at the Rotterdam Philharmonic, he started the Robert Schumann Piano Trio in 1998. He also performs regularly in solo recitals as an accompanist for a.o. Ria Bollen, Robert Holl, Nina Stemme and Werner van Mechelen.
With the Wiener Symphoniker he gave the first performance of Robert Schumann's Concertsatz (1839) in 1986, and in 1992 he created a part of a concerto by Clara Schumann (1847), two works that he himself completed, and which were published by Breitkopf und Härtel.
His recording with the complete piano solo work by Clara Wieck-Schumann in 1991 (CPO label Germany), became an international success. For his special dedication to the work of Robert and Clara Schumann, he received in 1993 the international Schumann Prize from the City Zwickau. He is a true reference for the International Robert Schumann Gesellschaft.
He made many studio recordings for radio and TV stations throughout Europe, and recorded a lot of LPs and CDs. (and also Phaedra Phaedra CD: 92015 – 92016 - 92017 - 92019 - 92026/2 – 92034 - 92040 – 92047 -92055 – 92061 – 92064 – 92071 – 92075 - 292007 – 292012 - 29201 – 292018 – 292020)
Jozef de Beenhouwer is specialized in works by, among others, Robert and Clara Schumann, Johannes Brahms and Belgian composers, including August de Boeck and Lodewijk Mortelmans. Both for his recording of piano work by Peter Benoit and Joseph Ryelandt he received the Caecilia Prize from the Belgian music press.
Jozef de Beenhouwer is professor at the Royal Flemish Music Conservatory in Antwerp, director of the Middagconcerten in Brussels, official supervisor and advisor to the program committee at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. He was invited several times as a jury member at international piano competitions.
OOn 12.09.2012, Jozef De Beenhouwer accompagnied the soprano Liesbeth Devos, in the KBC Tower in Antwerp, on the occasion of the exhibition 'The Mortelmans family and its artists'.
In 2017 he will continue to give piano concerts and record CDs, and is a great promoter of the works of Lodewijk Mortelmans.
Erwin De bock was born in Aalst in 1970. At the age of five he improvised regularly on the piano and at the age of ten he received his first piano lessons.
In 1988 he obtained a 'First Prize Piano' in the National Music Competition of Belgium as a pupil of Levente Kende. In the following years he obtained a 'First Prize' of Solfege, Harmony, Piano and Chambermusic as well as the final diploma 'Laureate of the Lemmens Institute: Piano and Music Education', with Great Distinction. In his final paper he investigated the relationship between the piano's hammer and the timbre of the piano.
He attended several international Masterclasses, including with Janine Kinet, Daniël Blumenthal and Boris Bloch, and he continued his studies at Peter Feuchtwanger in London, which he also regularly assists.
In 1995 he obtained the 'Higher Diploma Piano' at the Lemmensinstituut in Leuven in the class of Levente Kende with the greatest distinction and congratulations from the jury, as well as the title 'Master in Music'.
He is a piano teacher, instrumental ensemble and accompanist at the Music Academy of Bornem. His numerous concerts (in Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and England) were received very enthusiastically by the press.
From September to December 1997 he was in South Korea for a position as guest professor at the 'Vienna Art University' as well as for giving concerts and masterclasses, including at the 'Mokwon University'.
A further tour with the 'Euroregion Orchestra' conducted by Edmond Saveniers brought him to important concert halls of the Netherlands and Belgium (including the 'Queen Elisabeth Hall' in Antwerp and the 'Nieuwe Concertzaal' in Tilburg), as a soloist in the 2nd piano concerto of Chopin.
In December 2000, at the invitation of the Beethoven Society Europe, he gave a piano recital in 'Saint-Martin-in-the-Fields' in London.
De Bock has a refined and controlled technique and is a master of phrasing and nuanced tone.
Roland De Munck was born in Lokeren (Belgium) on April 6, 1947.
He studied at the 'Royal Music Conservatory' in Ghent where he obtained a 'First Prize in Solfege’. He obtained the 'First Prizes in Piano, Chamber Music, Harmony and Music History' at the 'Royal Conservatory of Music' in Antwerp. He also obtained the final diploma 'Music Analysis and Forms' and the 'Higher Diploma Piano'.
His teachers were: Louis Pas, Marcel Gazelle, Eugène Traey, Frédéric Gevers, Katja Kasandjeva, Jacques Detiège, Willem Kesters, Jef Maes, August Verbesselt, Kamiel Cooremans and Arie Van de Moortel.
Roland De Munck regularly acts as a soloist and accompanist in Belgium and abroad: the Netherlands, France, Austria, Poland, Romania, the United States of America, Japan, Cyprus, Norway and Russia. In addition, he made several recordings with the VRT, including with the creation of the piano concerto of Marc Verhaegen.
He performed piano concerto by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt, Prokofiev, Gershwin and Stravinsky with the former 'BRTN orchestra' and the 'Royal Philharmonic Orchestra' of Flanders under the direction of conductors such as Fernand Terby, Steven Candael and Sylveer Van den Broeck. Frans Cuypers, Walter Boeykens and Edmond Saveniers. In addition to his activities as a soloist, he also performs chamber music concerts and comments on the performances.
In the autumn of 1986 the 'Ensemble Arabesque' was founded by him and in 1989 'Trio Arabesque'. These ensembles cover the entire range of chamber music literature for piano and strings.
He is a member of the Board of the Royal Concert Organization 'Cofena', with DeSingel Antwerpen as location.
Roland De Munck is also a regularly asked jury member for piano competitions:
• Second (1997) and Third (2002) 'International Sergej Rachmaninov Concours'
• Pianoconcours for young pianists to the memory of Sergej Rachmaninov (1999, 2000 and 2001), in Moscow
• Pianoconcours for young pianists to the memory of Frederic Chopin (2002), and Mendelssohn (2003) in Moscow
• The triennial 'Stephan De Jonghe' competition
• 1° Concorso internazionale ' Giovani Pianisti' and '1° Concorso internazionale - Esecuzione Pianistica' (Sept. 2001, Italy)
In March 2001 he gave Masterclasses in the 'Moscow Conservatory' and in the 'Rachmaninov institute' in Tambov.
On October 18th 2007 he performed with great success and for a completely sold out Queen Elisabeth Hall (1400 places) in Antwerp Rachmaninov's 2nd piano concerto with the 'Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra'.
Roland De Munck is, after ten years of chairmanship (1989-1999), honorary president of EPTA (European Piano Teachers Association) Belgium, department Flanders-Brussels. He was a piano teacher at the academies of Beveren, Sint Niklaas and Merksem from 1969. Between 1972 and 2012 he worked as a teacher at the Royal Flemish Conservatory of Antwerp and from 1980 to 2012 at the Lemmens Institute in Leuven. In 1980 he was also director of the Municipal Academy for Music and Word in Hemiksem. As an employee at the VRT, he was the central figure in the 'Gelezen op de Affiche' program for four years.
Gabriel Hollander is a classically trained pianist and conductor based in Brussels, Belgium. He studied piano at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels in the class of Daniel Blumenthal and Hans Ryckelynck. After his Bachelor’s degree, he did an Erasmus Exchange at the Leipziger Hochschule Für Musik und Theater to study with Markus Tomas. In 2015, he completed his Master’s recital in Brussels while studying with Boyan Vodenitcharov.
Next to piano and chamber music, Gabriel has also been interested in orchestral conducting, which he has studied during different masterclasses in England and Germany. He had among his conducting teachers the notable conductors Dominique Rammaert, Rodolfo Salgimbeni, Denise Ham Toby Purser, and Kenneth Kiesler. His conducting debut was in May 2014 with Mozart piano concerto, KV 459, with Severin von Eckardstein as the solois.
Gabriel Hollander is a laureate of several competitions, for example Jong-Tenuto, Rotary Brueghel and Dexia Classics.
He accompagnied An Lauwereins who sang several Lieder of Lodewijk Mortelmans.
Kiyotaka Izumi was born in Tokyo, Japan. In 1995 he completes his studies at 'The Music High-school attached to the Faculty of Music, Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music'. In 1997 he leaves for Belgium and studies at the Royal Flemish Conservatory of Antwerp under the direction of Levente Kende and Heidi Hendrickx.
In 2002 Kiyotaka received his diploma 'Master in Music' at the Royal Flemish Conservatory of Antwerp where he received the 'Greatest Award' for piano. Afterwards he studied at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels with Boyan Vodenitcharov. After graduating 'Specialization Instrument - Chamber Music' at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels in 2005, he graduated in 2008 with a 'Postgraduate Concert soloist' and 'Postgraduate Chamber Music' at the Royal Flemish Conservatory of Antwerp with the 'Greatest Award'. He followed masterclasses with Murray Perahia, Jan Wijn, Hans Leygraf and Jozef De Beenhouwer and private lessons with Conrad Hansen in Hamburg, Germany.
Kiyotaka was laureate of various international competitions such as 'Machida Piano Contest', 'Benelux Young Virtuoso Contest', 'International EPTA Contest for Piano Duo’ (also received the 'SABAM Prize'), the 'International Emmanuel Durlet Contest for Piano' ( as well as the 'Prize for best rendition of the work of Emmanuel Durlet'), 'International Maria Yudina Contest for Piano Duo' in Saint Petersburg Russia, 'International Music Contest - Un Ricetto in Musica for Piano Duo' in Candelo Italy, 'International Piano Competition Vila de Capdepera' in Mallorca Spain (Award for the best interpretation of the work of a composer of the Balearics), 'TV Music Award' in Paris, 'Concours Musical de France' in Paris. Kiyotaka gave guest appearances during the 'International Chopin Festival' in Ghent, a gala concert for the King Baudouin Foundation in the presence of Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde. He has performed as a soloist with various orchestras, including the National Orchestra of Belgium, the Volgograd Academic Symphony Orchestra, the Hermes Ensemble, the Concert Festival Orchester, Symphony Orchestra De Lier and the Symphony Orchestra of the Royal Flemish Conservatory of Antwerp.
Kiyotaka performs at leading venues in Belgium such as Bozar in Brussels, De Singel in Antwerp, De Bijloke in Ghent and the Concertgebouw in Bruges. He performs abroad in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, Italy, England, Spain, Switzerland, Russia, Thailand and Japan. Kiyotaka now has 7 CDs to his name with music by Chopin, Schumann, Grieg, Durlet, Raick and Kennis. His CD recordings and 'live concerts' are regularly broadcast on Radio in Belgium, Germany and Japan. In addition to his solo and chamber music activities, Kiyotaka also works in combination with other art forms and artists such as actor Dimitri Leue, visual artist Koen Brucke and journalist Marc Van de Looverbosch.
Kiyotaka has been associated with the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp since 2008 as a pianist accompanist. He is also a piano teacher at the Municipal Academy for Music and Word in Borgerhout and Willebroek. He also gives master classes in Russia, Japan and Thailand.
Nikolaas Kende studied at the Antwerp conservatory with his parents, Heidi Hendrickx and Levente Kende, and at the Amsterdam conservatory with Jan Wijn. This was followed by intense cooperation with Elisso Virsaladze at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München and at the Scuola di Musica Fiesole. In addition he was taught by people like Dmitri Bashkirov, Aldo Ciccolini, Murray Perahia, Dmitri Alexeev and Radu Lupu.
Still young Nikolaas Kende won several competitions: the Cantabile competition (Antwerp, 1998), the EPTA international competition for piano duos (1999), the Axion Classics competition (Brussels, 1999), the Stefaan de Jonghe competition (Aalst, 2000) and the Tenuto competition (Brussels, 2002).In 2002 he was a laureate of the Belgian Foundation for Young Soloists, in 2004 he came second in the competition of the Young Pianist Foundation in The Hague, and in 2005 he won the Pianisten Parade in ’s-Hertogenbosch, in which he also obtained the prizes of the public and of the press.
In the next year he was a laureate of the 6th music competition of the Ghent Rotary Club and he won the 57th competition organized by the Friends of the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. In this competition too he won the prize of the press and the AVRO Klassiek prize, which enabled him to record his first solo CD. In 2007 he was a laureate of the Young Soloists Competition organized by the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, conducted by Philippe Herreweghe.
Since his succesful participation at the Queen Elisabeth Competition (2007), concerts have taken him to important festivals and halls. Amongst others to the Netherlands, France (festival Montpellier, festival Menton, festival Vexin), Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and the Dutch Antilles. His American debut (California and Texas) in 2009 got favorable press reviews, and he followed it up with another American tour in 2013. In 2015 he made his debut in Africa (South-Africa and Mozambique).
As a soloist has played concertos by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Poulenc, Ravel, Rakhmaninov and Bartók, with orchestras such as the Brussels Philharmonic, the Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, the Royal Flemish Philharmonic and the Flanders Symphony Orchestra conducted by Etienne Siebens, Koen Kessels, Ivo Venkov, Jurgen Küssmaul, Ernst van Tiel, Daniele Callegari, Dirk Vermeulen, Paul Goodwin, Stephen Heyde and David Angus among others.
Nikolaas Kende is also an avid chamber musician. Since 2003 he has formed a duo with the violinist Jolente De Maeyer and he was a co-founder of the Rubens Ensemble in 2007. He was the pianist of the Narziss und Goldmund Trio in their recording of Schubert’s Piano Trio in E flat. He has made numerous recordings for radio (the Belgian classical channel Klara, RTBF, AVRO, Radio Romania, France Musique , WDR) and television.
In september 2015 he took up the professorship piano at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp after being assistent and guest professor for 10 years at the same conservatory.
CChristel Kessels received her education at the conservatory of her hometown Ostend.
In 1978 she graduated with greatest distinction. A year earlier she became 'First Laureate' of the 'National Music Competition' 'Pro Civitate', as well as of the 'Stefaan De Jonghe Contest'.
Then she studied with Edouardo Del Puyo. This inspiring meeting grew into a contact for years that has permanently influenced her.
Soon she concentrated on her great love, the chamber music. She received the 'Georges Maes Prize' for her chambric activities in 1984 and was a guest at important festivals in Belgium and abroad.
Christel Kessels realized numerous radio, TV and CD recordings. Since 1991 she teaches chamber music and piano at the 'Lemmensinstituut' in Leuven.
CChristel Kessels is a well demanded chambrist and Lieder accompanist.
° 13.05.1929 Mechelen - † 02.07.2006 Mechelen
In 1952 Philibert Mees obtained the Higher Diploma for piano at the Royal Flemish Conservatory of Antwerp. Then he perfected himself with the pianists Stefan Bergmann and Geza Anda.
PPhilibert Mees turned out to be an ardent defender of Flemish music. The many recordings that he made on behalf of the N.I.R. and BRT, his CDs and the choice of his concert programs. He always had one goal in mind: to bring the interesting but little known works of Flemish composers from the 19th and 20th century - from Peter Benoit to Frederic Devreese - back to the concert stages.
He also has a large number of creations active: Godfried Devreese, Marinus De Jong, Jef Vermeiren, Peter Cabus, Jef Maes, …
Since 1953, Mees acted as a soloist and as a chamber musician in Belgium and abroad. He has performed under the direction of conductors such as Franz André, René Defossez, Daniel Sternefeld, Heinz Zilcher, Oivin Fjelstadt, Fernand Terby, Roelof Krol and Fritz Maraffi.
A highlight in his career is an American tour with violinist Elwyn Adams.
He gave recitals and concerts throughout Europe, including Bratislava and Rome (including Academia Belgica).
In 1980 he formed a permanent duo with viola player Roger Nauwelaers, the alto solo with the BRT orchestra.
In 1999 the Union of Belgian Composers awarded him the Trophy Fuga Award for his permanent commitment to the national repertoire.
In 2005 he received the Gaston Feremans Prize, which is awarded every two years to a deserving Fleming from the social, cultural, political or scientific world.
Philibert Mees frequently played works by Lodewijk Mortelmans, as well as in the Academica Belgica in Rome.
Sylvia Traey obtained the First Prize in Chamber music and piano at the Conservatory of Antwerp in 1970. Two years later she obtained her Higher diploma in piano with the greatest distinction at the Conservatory of Antwerp.
She studied with Jörg Demus, and Leon Fleisher in Baltimore.
In 1978 she was laureate of the Queen Elisabeth Competition.
She specialized in solo repertoire and gaved concerts in Europe, the US, South Africa and Japan. She's also a jury member for the 'Leschetitsky competition in Taipei', and a member of the Berlin salons.
Sylvia Traey is a former teacher of piano conservatory Ghent and gaved music sessions, among others, in hospitals and prisons in Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Berlin.
She has made around twenty LPs and CDs and writes essays about experiences with people and music. She published 'Muziek een ontmoeting', 'Sounds of joy and wonder' and 'Christel, war letters of an artist' published by Editor Pandora.
Peter Vanhove (Belgium) studied at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels, the Lemmens Institute in Leuven and the Maastricht Conservatory. He received first prize piano and chamber music, a Master degree piano and the diploma Performing Musician. His teachers were Jean Brouwers, Daniel Blumenthal, Jo Alfidi and Frans Van Beveren.
He is laureate of the 'Axion Classics competition' of Dexia Bank and received the 'Pieter-Jan Van Paesschenprijs'.
In 1997 he became the 'First Laureate' of the 'Concorso Pianistico Europeo' in the Italian Ostuni, with Lazar Berman as chairman of the jury. During the 'Concorso Internazionale per giovani interpreti' in Roveredo in Switzerland he won the 'First Prize'. He also obtained a special 'Brahms prize' at the 'Concorso Internazionale Città di Lodi' in Italy.
In 2002 he released his first CD 'Flemish Romantic and Impressionist Piano Music', which was well received by press and public. With music by Peter Benoit, Arthur De Greef, Joseph Ryelandt, Lodewijk Mortelmans, Prosper Van Eeckhaute.
In March 2003 he recorded a second CD, 'Intermezzo' (senzanome 90032), with works for piano solo by Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, Bach-Busoni and Rachmaninov.
He played recitals at numerous festivals (including Dubrovnik, Hvar, Sarajevo) and also toured the Middle East (Jerusalem, Nablus, Ramallah and Bethlehem).
In 2012 followed the CD 'When the Soul listens', released by Pavane Records.
'A complete CD dedicate to my favorite composer Lodewijk Mortelmans seemed like a good idea; Mortelmans deserves international attention.'
In chamber music, Peter plays with his brother Theo, solo clarinettist in the 'Orchester Philharmonique de Liége', and forms a permanent duo with pianist Jan Vande Weghe.
In 2014 the next CD In Flanders' Fields 84, 'A Bouquet of Forgotten Flowers' with Werner Van Mechelen, bas-baryton, is released by Phaedra CD, which contains 4 Lieder of Lodewijk Mortelmans.
His sister Lieve Norberg-Vanhove is a visual artist in Umeå (Sweden).
'1977 - LP : Vlaamse Pianomuziek uit de Romantiek'
Marie-Claude Werchowska is of Polish origin but was born in Toulouse. She studied at the 'Conservatoire National Supérieur' in Paris where in 1961 she won a first prize in the class of Lucette Descaves and a prize in chamber music in the class of Fernand Oubradous.
In 1963 she received the prize of the 'Fondation de la Vocation de France'. Since then she has made a highly remarkable international career. Marie-Claude Werchowska has been living in Antwerp since her marriage and is of Belgian nationality.
She has performed in the following countries: Germany, Great Britain, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Romania, Poland (including a recital at Chopin's birthplace in Zelazowa-Wola), Israel, Morocco, the United States, and Canada. With both recitals and concerts, led by numerous famous conductors, she garnered the greatest praise from the press and public. Many radio recordings and various records have confirmed her languages.
Jolente De Maeyer received the first violin lessons at the age of four. When she was 14 years old, she was invited by Yehudi Menuhin to continue her musical studies at the Yehudi Menuhin School near London. She continued her studies with Natasha Boyarsky at the Royal College of Music in London, Stephan Picard at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin and Augustin Dumay at the Queen Elizabeth Music Chapel in Belgium.
When she was 6, Jolente started several national and international competitions. That year she became the winner of the Young Tenuto competition and also received first prizes in the Charles de Bériot Competition Brussels. Later, Jolente became a prize winner in several international competitions such as Cardona International Competition in Portugal, International Violin Competition Liana Issakadze in Russia (2004) and Benjamin Britten International Violin Competition in London (2005). She also became a semi-finalist in the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 2009.
Jolente acted as soloist at the Brussels Philharmonic, the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Symphony Orchestra Flanders, Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonia, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Liège, The Chamber Orchestra Bruges, Nuove Musiche, Norfolk Symphony Orchestra, Academic Capella State University Chamber Orchestra and the Academic Capella Symphony orchestra of St. Petersburg. Conductors with whom Jolente has collaborated are Philippe Herreweghe, Patrick Davin, Etienne Siebens, Pascale Rophé, Silveer Van den Broeck, Dirk Brossé, James Stobart, Michel Tilkin, Stefaan Fraas, Alexander Chernushenko and Rudolf Werthen. In 2013 Jolente made her debut in America (Texas) with the Waco Symphony Orchestra and Stephen Heyde, where she performed the Tchaikovsky violin concerto. This was followed by tour with Nikolaas Kende in Texas.
In Belgium, Jolente regularly performs in venues such as Bozar, Flagey, the Elisabeth Hall, the Singel and the Roma and she participated in festivals such as the Festival of Flanders, Festival de Montpellier and Menton. She also performed in countries such as Russia, France, Italy, Portugal, Croatia, the Netherlands, Spain, as well as at Wigmore Hall in London, Royal Albert Hall and at the Gstaad Menuhin Festival in Switzerland.
Since 2003, Jolente has formed a duo with pianist Nikolaas Kende. Together they formed the Rubens ensemble in 2007.
Jolente recorded the 6th violin concerto by Henri Vieuxtemps in 2010 with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Liège with Patrick Davin. This recording received the René Snepvangers Prize from the Belgian Music Press in 2011.
In 2013 Jolente recorded the 2nd violin concerto of Saint Saëns with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Liège with Christian Arming.
Jan Van Mol studied mainly at the Antwerp Conservatory, but also at the Lemmensinstituut and the Conservatory of Ghent.
As an organist he won several national awards: A. Paepen, Verrept-Brouwers, A. Rutzky. He was a laureate in the International Organ Competition of Avila.
He performed, especially as organist, in almost all countries of Eastern and Western Europe and beyond: Belgium - Netherlands - Germany - Sweden - France - Spain - Portugal - Italy - Former GDR - Poland - Austria - Bulgaria - Slovenia - Bosnia - England - Ireland - Luxembourg - Switzerland - Scotland - Denmark - Finland - South Africa - Philippines - Russia - Brazil.
He recorded some fifteen CDs of which several received a favorable reception in the international trade press.
In addition to the organ he plays the harpsichord and he was one of the first to rediscover the authentic harmonium play.
He has published numerous articles about the organ and performs organ music.
Jan Van Mol was a teacher at the Royal Flemish Music Conservatory in Antwerp and is organist-titular of the Saint Paul's Church of Antwerp. There he plays the historical organ, perhaps the most important old instrument from the Southern Netherlands.
He gives lectures in the framework of various cultural distribution associations: Amarant (Ghent), Arcademia (Bruges), Davidsfonds (Leuven).
As the founder and driving force of Calcant, Antwerp Organ Association, he has taken numerous initiatives (organ concerts, tours, walks ...) with which he wants to bring the organ closer to the public.
He was admitted to the 'Société académique Arts - Sciences - Lettres' in Paris in 2005.
Source & Copyright 2010 OmniTalent - www.janvanmol.be
Surprisingly rich repertory: As a keyboard player in the broadest sense of the word, Bart traverses the entire history of music with his repertoire - from Renaissance to contemporary music. He brings the complete organ works of Couperin, Pachelbel, Brahms and Liszt. Händel and Bach, he knows better than anyone else. As a soloist he performed Haydn, Salieri, Mozart, Händel, Bach, Corrette and Poulenc. In addition, Bart works with actors and directors from the music theater world. He also provided music for, among others, productions such as Orfeo, Il combattimento di Tancredi and Clorinda (Walpurgis) and Nina Nina (Het Paleis).
From passion to versatile perfection: Bart Rodyns thinks of the music when he is still very young: an old aunt's organ stimulates his passion for it, and makes him hunger for more. As a young musician, he plays jazz and pop music: he learns how to improvise and germs his lifelong love for the profession. His first steps give him the perfect basis to later master other genres, and feel and interpret flawlessly chords and melody lines of old and baroque music.
He concludes his studies with Dieter Van Handenhoven at the Antwerp art school with the diploma Classical Music for organ and harpsichord. He continues his education at the conservatories of Antwerp and Maastricht, where he also studies, Dorthy de Rooij, Hans Leenders, Joris Verdin and Marcel Verheggen, and his Master of Music - Performing and Teaching Musician with the highest distinction. Under supervision of Naji Hakim and Andrea Marcon, he immerses himself further in different musical styles.
Renowned ensembles: Bart is artistic director and continuo player of the renowned EUterpe Baroque Consort. This vocal and instrumental ensemble of professional international musicians brings authentic music to historical instruments. Recent highlights include the opening concert of the Festival of Flanders (2008) and Klara in 't Paleis and Klara in Izegem (2008, 2009). In addition, Bart works closely with the Oltremontano ensemble under the direction of Wim Bécu. At the end of 2013, Hendrickje van Kerckhove, Bart Rodyns, Eliot Lawson and Lode Leire will bring the historical ensemble 'The Party' (1860) back to life. The very original occupation with pressure wind harmonium is the starting point. However, the repertoire of that time is expanded with new programs.
Historical organist: Bart is also a titular organist and artisitic advisor to the unique Silver Organ (Forceville, 1720) in the Broechem church, based on his passion for authentic organ music. And recently he released a CD on which he plays the restored Smets organ of Tombeek. As a passionate organist, Bart is a member of various organ committees, and artistic advisor to the Dieseghem Cultural Project.
Driven teacher: Bart passes on his passion and knowledge for music to the Antwerp art school.
On 22 June 2014, Hendrickje Van Kerckhove, accompanied by Bart Rodyns, sang a few Lieder by Lodewijk Mortelmans at the 'House of Oscar' in Lier, following the finissage of the exhibition: 'Franck Mortelmans, friend of Oscar Van Rompay'.
Guido Gezelle is the most musically translated poet of the Low Countries .... From his early poetry in 1858 until today more than 3000 works have been composed.
'Gezelle Gezongen' pays homage to the life and work of Guido Gezelle in its own (meaningful) and creative way.
The three pillars of Gezelle's work (religion, nature and language play) are central to this and are interwoven with pointed discoveries and fun anecdotes from his world.
The music is a cross-pollination between a classical timbre with known melodies and light jazz influences.
Works by Lodewijk Mortelmans, August De Boeck and Joseph Ryelandt are seamlessly interwoven with music by W. Vermandere, P. Embrechts, H. Vrienten.