The Belgian orchestra conductor Philippe Herreweghe is considered today as one of the pillars of the interpretation of the baroque repertoire, especially with the work of Johann Sebastian Bach that he is a great specialist of.
Philippe Herreweghe learnt the piano in his natal city and in parallel, managed studies medicine and psychiatry. Around that time, he founded the Ghent Collegium Vocale. With that ensemble, he developed new interpretation principles of the baroque music. Quickly noticed by Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Gustav Leonhardt, he got invited to the recording of the complete cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach that would left its mark on our time.
In 1977 Philippe Herreweghe founded the ensemble La Chapelle Royale. It focuses on the interpretation of the French music of the Golden Age (17th century). Later, he initiated several formations with whom he explored a wide repertoire, going from the Renaissance to contemporary music. Let's name two ensembles that saw the light of day: the Ensemble Vocal Européen specialized in the Renaissance's polyphony and the Orchestre des Champs-Élysées inclined towards the romantic and pre-romantic repertoires played on ancient instruments. Since 2011, Philippe Herreweghe has worked with the help of the Collegium Vocale on putting in light a great symphonic repertoire, from Beethoven to Gustav Mahler.
Main conductor of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and permanent guest conductor of the Radio Kamer Filharmonie in the Netherlands, Philippe Herreweghe often performs in the company of internationally reputed orchestras, like the Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam, the Gewandhausorchester in Leipzig or the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Designated "music personality of the year" by the European music press in 1990, and "Flanders Cultural Ambassador" in 1993, he received the Bach-Medaille from the city of Leipzig to reward his work as an interpret of Johann Sebastian Bach's pieces.
Philippe Herreweghe released more than one hundred records and founded his own label "Phi" in 2010.
Six landmark dates in the life of Philippe Herreweghe
1970: founded the Gent Collegium Vocale.
1982 to 2002: artistic director of the Académies Musicales de Saintes.
1991: founded the Orchestre des Champs-Élysées
1994: was appointed Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres
Since 1997: conductor of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra.
2007: was appointed permanent guest conductor of the Radio Kamer Filharmonie in the Netherlands