b i o g r a p h y
Bart Vanhecke (1964) studied composition at the Koninklijk Muziekconservatorium (Royal Music Conservatory) of Brussels with André Laporte and at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena (Italy) with Franco Donatoni.
Several of Bart Vanhecke’s pieces have been programmed in contemporary music festivals such as the Ars Musica festival in Brussels (a.o. “Monodie” for piano by Jan Michiels in 1996, “Dans les plis des nuages” for two violins and small ensemble by the ensemble Oxalys in 1999, and “Que l’aube apporte la lumière” by the Danel quartet and Jan Michiels in 2008), The ISCM World New Music Days (“Les Racines du monde” for piano in Yokohama (Japan) in 2001,“Des cercles sur les eaux” for harp, ensemble and live electronics in Basel (Switserland) by harpist Consuelo Giulianelli and the Ensemble Phoenix Basel conducted by Jürg Henneberger in 2004 and “Dans l’eau du songe” for bass clarinet, cello and piano by the Ensemble Recherche in Stuttgart (Germany) in 2006), the Transit Festival in Leuven (a.o. “Comme un flocon de neige” for flute and ensemble by Mike Schmidt and the Ictus ensemble, the first version of the piano quintet “Que l’aube apporte la lumière” by the Danel quartet and Jan Michiels in 2007, “Après la pluie” for piano and live electronics by Frederk Croene in 2009, and "Pour que la nuit finesse" for mezzo soprano and ensemble by Els Mondelaers (mezzo) and the Hermes Ensemble conducted by Ed Spanjaard in 2017) as well as the Festival of Flanders (a.o. the first performance of “Les Racines du monde” by pianist Jan Michiels in 1998). The programme of the Festival Gent-Moskou (1997) featured three of his works (a.o. “Tout près de l’eau” by mezzo Lucienne Van Deyck and the Ictus ensemble).
In 2004 Bart Vanhecke wrote the mini opera “Icarus” (commissioned by Muziektheatercollectief Walpurgis). This piece was first performed the same year during the Klara festival in Brussels. Two of his piano pieces (“Monodie” and “Les racines du monde”) were performed during the PianoMania festival in Ghent (Belgium), Budapest (Hungary) and Bratislava (Slovakia) in 2004-2005 by pianists Frederik Croene and Gabor Csalog. In February 2008, counter tenor Daniel Gloger (Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart) and the Spectra Ensemble (conducted by Filip Rathé) premiered “La hora de la luz” for counter tenor, ensemble and live electronics, a piece that was given the ISCM-Flanders quality label. The Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart and flautist Toon Fret performed the mini opera “Icarus” in February 2009.
The piano quintet “Que l’aube apporte la lumière” was rewarded with the prize for music composition of the “Provincie Vlaams-Brabant” (the province of Flemish-Brabant) in 2008.
A portrait CD with eight of Bart Vanhecke’s works performed by Het Collectief and Walpurgis was released in September 2008 (on the Fuga Libera label). This CD was nominated for the Klara music prizes in 2009.
In September 2009, Bart Vanhecke started the curriculum for a PhD in the arts at the Orpheus Institute in Ghent and the University of Leuven (advisory team: Prof Dr. Mark Delaere (supervisor), Luc Van Hove, Dr. Raf Cluckers, Dr. Bob Gilmore). He did research on “the systematisation of atonality and dissonance in amotivic serial composition”, a further development of the personal composition technique he has been using for all his compositions since 1997. In 2010 he received a doctoral research grant from the Leuven University, which enabled him to do full-time research for three years. From 2010 to 2013 he was also a doctoral researcher at the ORCiM (Orpheus Research Center in Music) in Ghent. In 2015, he successfully defended his PhD in Leuven.
In September 2010, Bart Vanhecke’s orchestral piece “Danse de la terre” (2010) was premiered by the National Orchestra of Belgium conducted by Stefan Blunier in the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels during the Klara festival and live broadcast on KLARA (Flemish classical radio). This piece was also performed during the ISCM World New Music Days in Vienna in November 2013 by the Webern Symphony Orchestra conducted by Simeon Pironkoff.
Bart Vanhecke taught music analysis at the LUCA School of Arts (campus Lemmens - Leuven University Association) from 2010 to 2015. He studied musicology and civil engineering at the university of Leuven, and philosophy at the university of Brussels (VUB).
Since the Spring of 2019 Bart Vanhecke has been a shakuhachi player, working on the Jin Nyodo (神如道) and Kinko-Ryū (琴古流) Honkyoku (本曲, "original pieces") repertoire.