Belgian Brass (BE)
Belgian Brass were formerly the Belgian Brass Soloists quintet until artistic director Manu Mellaerts launched the idea of bringing together a larger, more all-round group of musicians with a view to enhancing this ensemble’s artistic scope. Thanks to this ‘new concept’, it was possible to achieve a more dynamic reach and a larger artistic colour pallet. Owing to the extra dynamism and the artistic expansion, Belgian Brass has developed into a first-class ensemble with flexibility and virtuosity as its main trademarks. By adding the rhythm section to the classical brass tentet, Belgian Brass is ready at all times to tackle the most diverse of compositions. It is mainly its own musicians who adapt pieces in diverse music styles, playing to Belgian Brass’s specific strength. In doing so, they always show the greatest respect for the original score and set great store by a distinctly symphonic sound ideal. All Belgian Brass programmes offer a subtle and balanced mix of the most diverse music genres which the eminent musicians – thanks to years of experience – have at their fingertips: the baroque, via renaissance, through to contemporary classical music and even big band. Belgian Brass manages to appeal to every kind of audience.
In its short existence, Belgian Brass has given concerts in Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Italy, the Netherlands, the United States and Spain and it got itself noticed by releasing four excellent CDs. The debut CD, ‘Pushing the Limits’ is a much-talked-about opener. The programme, which spans more than four centuries of music history and which makes a musical east-west journey across Europe, has something for everyone. And – as the title suggests – the musicians have to give their very best! In ‘Russian Heritage’, Belgian Brass’s second CD, the listeners are invited to walk through the Russian musical landscape. Some of the finest works of known and lesser known Russian composers are bound to enthral you. However, Belgian Brass is also holding current Flemish art dear! In July 2008, the third Belgian Brass CD, ‘From IO to Dandi’, was released. For this occasion, four prominent Flemish composers (Jan van Landeghem, Jan Van der Roost, Dirk Brossé and Wim Henderickx) wrote 4 diverse compositions for the ensemble which can all be enjoyed on this CD! With the fourth cd ‘Entrata Imperiale: Early Music for Brass & Bells’ we make a journey through the beautiful repertoire of the Renaissance. For this project we expanded the ensemble with carillon, played excellent by Frank Deleu.
In a nutshell, Belgian Brass is a dynamic ensemble with diversity and virtuosity as its main assets. The combination of renowned musicians and a clearly artistic profile has turned this ensemble into an impressive and unique Belgian ambassador in concert halls, both at home and abroad.