Formerly known as the Collegium Instrumentale Brugense, this chamber orchestra decided to give itself a new look, a new name, and a more modern impetus, while still maintaining its historic links with the city of Bruges and with Flemish musical culture.
Patrick Peire was the founder of the Collegium Instrumentale Brugense, which he led expertly for more than 35 years, in the course of which it recorded more than 40 discs. In 2007 he passed the conductor's baton to Ivan Meylemans.
The orchestra's repertoire has evolved over the years, with an increasing emphasis on Romantic and contemporary music.
Het Kamerorkest performs mainly around Flanders and in Bruges, but it has also appeared at French and Dutch festivals on many occasions.
In the 2009-2010 music season the orchestra launched an innovative project designed to encourage young people to attend concerts of classical music. It makes contact with schools and invites young people and their parents to undertake a musical adventure, which begins before the concert and continues during it. Thanks to educational material, musical extracts, and encounters with the composer, the conductor, or the soloist, pupils are introduced to classical music and its performance in a fun, creative way. As the experiment has been a big success, it is being repeated in the next season.
Het Kamerorkest is usually made up of 16 musicians on string instruments, but can be expanded to a total of 21 musicians.
Its leader (concertmaster) is Dirk Lippens.
Belgium – 1971
Ivan Meylemans studied orchestral conducting at the Conservatory in The Hague from 1996 to 2000 under Ed Spanjaard and Jac Van Steen. He soon began to distinguish himself at various domestic and international competitions for conductors, including the celebrated Donatella Flick competition in London (2001), during which he conducted the London Symphony Orchestra in Bartók's The Miraculous Mandarin. His career really began to take off after that.
He became an assistant to Mariss Jansons, Chief Conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, which he frequently joined on tour.
His first CD, with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Brass, appeared in 2007.
Ivan Meylemans has been appointed Chief Conductor of the Bruges-based ensemble Het Kamerorkest.
He is a frequent guest of celebrated orchestras, both in Belgium and abroad, including the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, the Luxembourg Philharmonic, the Zagreb Philharmonic, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. In the course of the 2009-2010 season he undertook a major tour of Japan with the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie.
Since then, new opportunities have opened up, including collaborations with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, the Budapest Concert Orchestra, the Nederlandse Kamer Filharmonie, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Dortmund Philharmonic, and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra.