Philippe Herreweghe |

Philippe Herreweghe |

Philippe Herreweghe

Date of birth

Philippe Herreweghe |

Philippe Herreweghe is one of the most famous and sought-after musicians of our time. He was born in Ghent in 1947. As a young man, he studied medicine at the University of Ghent and studied piano at the conservatory of this ancient Belgian city with Marcel Gazelle (a friend of Yehudi Menuhin and his stage partner). In the same years he began to conduct.

Herreweghe’s brilliant career began in 1970 when he founded the ensemble Collegium Vocale Gent. Thanks to the energy of the young musician, his innovative approach to the performance of baroque music at that time, the ensemble quickly gained fame. He was noticed by such masters of historical performance as Nikolaus Arnoncourt and Gustav Leonhardt, and soon a group from Ghent, headed by Herreweghe, was invited to take part in the recording of the complete collection of cantatas by J.S. Bach.

In 1977, in Paris, Herreweghe organized the ensemble La Chapelle Royale, with which he performed the music of the French “Golden Age”. In the 1980-1990s. he created several more ensembles, with which he carried out historically verified and thoughtful interpretations of the music of many centuries: from the Renaissance to the present day. Among them are the Ensemble Vocal Européen, which specialized in Renaissance polyphony, and the Champs Elysees Orchestra, founded in 1991 with the aim of performing romantic and pre-romantic music on original instruments of the time. Since 2009, Philippe Herreweghe and the Collegium Vocale Gent, at the initiative of the Chijiana Academy of Music in Siena (Italy), have been actively involved in the creation of the European Symphony Choir. Since 2011, this project has been supported within the cultural program of the European Union.

From 1982 to 2002 Herreweghe was artistic director of the Académies Musicales de Saintes summer festival.

The study and performance of Renaissance and Baroque music has been the focus of the musician’s attention for almost half a century. However, he is not limited to pre-classical music and regularly turns to the art of later eras, collaborating with leading symphony orchestras. From 1997 to 2002 he conducted the Royal Philharmonic of Flanders, with which he recorded all of Beethoven’s symphonies. Since 2008 he has been a permanent guest conductor of the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra. He has performed as a guest conductor with the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in Berlin.

Philippe Herreweghe’s discography includes over 100 recordings on Harmonia Mundi France, Virgin Classics and Pentatone labels. Among the most famous recordings are Lagrimedi San Pietro by Orlando di Lasso, works by Schütz, motets by Rameau and Lully, Matthew Passion and choral works by Bach, complete cycles of symphonies by Beethoven and Schumann, requiems by Mozart and Fauré, oratorios by Mendelssohn, the German Requiem by Brahms , Bruckner’s Symphony No. 5, Mahler’s The Magic Horn of the Boy and his own Song of the Earth (in Schoenberg’s chamber version), Schoenberg’s Lunar Pierrot, Stravinsky’s Psalm Symphony.

In 2010, Herreweghe created his own label φ (PHI, with Outhere Music), which released 10 new albums with vocal compositions by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Dvorak, Gesualdo and Victoria. Three more new CDs were released in 2014: the second volume of Bach’s Leipzig Cantatas, Haydn’s oratorio The Four Seasons and Infelix Ego with motets and Mass for 5 voices by William Byrd.

Philippe Herreweghe is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards for outstanding artistic achievement and consistency in the implementation of his creative principles. In 1990, European critics recognized him as the “Musical Person of the Year”. In 1993 Herreweghe and the Collegium Vocale Gent were named “Cultural Ambassadors of Flanders”. Maestro Herreweghe is a holder of the Order of Arts and Letters of Belgium (1994), an honorary doctor of the Catholic University of Leuven (1997), a holder of the Order of the Legion of Honor (2003). In 2010, he was awarded the “Bach Medal” of Leipzig as an outstanding performer of the works of J.S. Bach and for many years of service and commitment to the work of the great German composer.

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