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SPECTRA, Filip Rathé, Thomas Blondelle, Lise Bruyneel

Desire & Disillusion

Daan Janssens, Franz Schubert

In 2018, Festival 20·21 commissioned composer Daan Janssens to make a free adaptation of Schubert’s masterful song cycle Die schöne Müllerin. Janssens let the question settle for a while, and a few months later he delivered a gorgeous piece that now has been heard all over Europe and has already been recorded as well. 

Knowing there was no improving upon Schubert’s melodies, Janssens left them intact, and constructed an astounding and intriguing sound world around them, with now and then a captivating interlude to texts by the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa. Lise Bruyneel has also designed a video especially for this occasion, in which the worlds of music, image and poetry perfectly meld with each other.

SPECTRA, conducted by Filip Rathé, will take charge of Janssens’s piece tonight, as they did with its world premiere. The singer is Belgian tenor (and KU Leuven-alumnus) Thomas Blondelle, who has made a career for himself in the last few years as a lieder and opera singer, primarily in Germany. Daan Janssens has grown into one of Belgium’s leading composers, and recently was acclaimed for his opera Brodeck, performed by Opera Ballet Vlaanderen.

Opening Concert of the Academic Year KU Leuven

Sponsor: Peeters Drukkerij/Uitgeverij/Boekhandel

Mon 23 Sep · 20:30




Pieter Bergé



Daan Janssens: Eine schöne Müllerin

(free adaptation after Franz Schubert)

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SPECTRA is an ensemble that is curious for new music, with Filip Rathé as artistic director and conductor. The ensemble develops trajectories with composers living in Flanders and promotes their work in an international and historical context. SPECTRA premieres a lot of commissioned works in a continuous dialogue with referential masterpieces from the recent past.

Filip Rathé

Filip Rathé

Filip Rathé is a conductor, composer, musicologist and pianist. Since 1993, he has been artistic director and conductor of SPECTRA, with which he has created more than 130 new works. From 1992 to 2001, he also directed the choir De 2de Adem, which focuses on the performance of contemporary music. In addition to his position teaching contemporary music, chamber music, music theory and composition, Rathé is also dean of KASK & Conservatorium Ghent since 2021.

Thomas Blondelle

Thomas Blondelle

Belgian tenor Thomas Blondelle has been a soloist at the Deutsche Oper Berlin since 2009. Central to his repertoire is German opera, with works by composers such as Richard Strauss and Richard Wagner. Besides his career as a singer in operas, operettas and song recitals, Blondelle is active as a teacher at LUCA School of Arts Campus Lemmens in Leuven and as a composer.

Lise Bruyneel

Lise Bruyneel

Whether it is Lise Bruyneel’s former career as a cellist, finding the right image for a performance, making video collages or imagining which poetic project will speak to the passer-by on the street, the approach is similar: to stand at the interface between artists and audience in a creative and emotional way.

Knowing there was no improving upon Schubert’s melodies, Janssens left them intact, and constructed an astounding and intriguing sound world around them.


€ 30

DESIRE & DISILLUSION Mon 23 Sep 2024 · 20:30
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Aula Pieter De Somer

Charles Deberiotstraat 24
3000 Leuven

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