COLLEGIUM VOCALE GENT
In 2010, Collegium Vocale Gent celebrated its founding forty years before, by a group of friends studying at the University of Ghent, on Philippe Herreweghe’s initiative. They were one of the first ensembles to use new ideas about baroque performance practice in vocal music. Their authentic, text-oriented and rhetorical approach gave the ensemble the transparent sound with which it would acquire world fame and perform at the major concert venues and music festivals of Europe, Israel, the United States, Russia, South America, Japan, Hong Kong and Australia.
Philippe Herreweghe was born in Ghent and studied at both the university and music conservatory there, studying piano with Marcel Gazelle. He also started to conduct during this period, and founded Collegium Vocale Gent in 1970. He was invited by Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Gustav Leonhardt, who had noticed his innovative work, to participate in their recordings of the complete cantatas of J.S. Bach.
Collegium Vocale Gent – European ambassador
Philippe Herreweghe artistic director
Because of the outspoken European image it projects, its presence throughout Europe and European make-up, Collegium Vocale Gent was named European Ambassador in 2011. This is more than an honorary title: its financial support allows us to programme productions needing a large choir, and to organise auditions all over Europe. Young singers will be given opportunities to participate with experienced musicians in many productions and international concert tours and to perform at major venues in Europe and beyond. They will exchange artistic know-how, work with inspiring conductors and meet a diversity of audiences from all over Europe. Along with the individual cultural backgrounds of each musician, the multilingual atmosphere created in these productions will enrich the experiences of everyone involved. The productions will be conducted by Philippe Herreweghe or guest conductors such as Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Edo De Waart, working with our partner orchestras, which include deFilharmonie (Antwerp), Orchestre des Champs-Elysées (Paris), the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic (Netherlands) and Mahler Chamber Orchestra.