B-Classic - BRYGGEN


From its home port of Bruges, string orchestra BRYGGEN boldly sets course for the North,
along the routes of the Hanseatic League, all the way to Scandinavia and the Baltic. In
search of new sounds and connection to the wide world around. With united/unified forces,
now moving against the current, then harmoniously bathing in the tranquillity of
immeasurably deep fjords.
BRYGGEN is a fresh and dynamic string orchestra for whom innovation is key, whether in
terms of repertoire or performance. Every BRYGGEN concert is an experience, both for the
audience and the performers. Founded by artistic director Jolente De Maeyer, the ensemble
explores the soundscape of Scandinavia and the Baltic, complemented with keyworks from
20th and 21st century postmodern music.

BRYGGEN strongly believes in the power of the string orchestra and in the added value that
playing music in a smaller group offers in terms of sound, interaction, communication and
focus. The ensemble works without a conductor and makes every effort to bring
contemporary music to the heart of the audience not only through their ears but also through
their eyes. The symbiosis between text, music, image and performance is therefore in the
DNA of the projects that BRYGGEN carefully develops alongside narrators, actors, writers,
directors, choreographers, dancers, choir, performance artists and more. For BRYGGEN, the
future is very diverse.
As a Bruges-based orchestra, BRYGGEN played its inaugural concert in 2020 at
Concertgebouw Brugge. During the 2021-22 season, after the premiere at De Singel in
Antwerp, the orchestra toured Flanders with the music theatre production Zwanen (Swans)
and played at WE Festival in Ostend, Iedereen Klassiek in Bruges and Walden Festival in
Brussels. At De Singel, BRYGGEN presented the Belgian premiere of Wu Tsang’s Moby
Dick, a collaboration with Zürich Schauspielhaus and De Singel. The orchestra also made its
debut in the Netherlands with Moby Dick, at Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ during the Holland
During the 2022-23 season, BRYGGEN reprised Zwanen with eighteen performances across
Flanders. The orchestra also performed at Concertgebouw Brugge, Iedereen Klassiek,
Musica Divina, Antwerp Spring Festival and at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in
Waterloo. For Mooov Film Festival, BRYGGEN performed Max Richter’s score for Ari
Folman’s animated documentary Waltz with Bashir live at De Singel, De Warande Turnhout
and Stadsschouwburg Brugge.
In the 2023-24 season, concerts were played at festivals Musica Divina, B-Classic (Limburg),
and Wilde Westen Kortrijk, and at De Spil (Roeselare). A concert series with cellist Pieter
Wispelwey was on the agenda at Concertgebouw Brugge, the Abbey of Grimbergen, and CC
Hasselt, followed by the multimedia music theatre production Songs with roots, which
premiered in collaboration with Zonzo Compagnie and Concertgebouw Brugge. After that,
the Minerals project - a new creation for BRYGGEN composed by Mathias Coppens -
premiered at De Singel, incorporating artificial intelligence and live video animation.
Last but not least: in April 2024, BRYGGEN won the Ultima for Music, a culture prize
awarded by the Flemish Government. The jury praised the orchestra, among others, with the
following words: “BRYGGEN's special quality lies in the thoughtful way in which the orchestra
links innovation to the great tradition of classical music. BRYGGEN is an example of an
ensemble that pushes boundaries and expands the social content of an art form.”


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