Geert Soenen, teacher

Geert Soenen, son of composer Willy Soenen, began his musical career as a trumpet player and pianist, but gradually profiled himself more and more as a conductor. In the meantime, he has been on the conductor's staff for years, leading musicians and singers.  

He studied at the Royal Conservatory of Ghent and later obtained a diploma in orchestral conducting with Ed Spanjaard and Jac van Steen at the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague. During an internship with the Jeune Philharmonie, he took a masterclass with Iván Fischer, conductor of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, among others, who saw in him "a sensitive, musical temperament."  

He has conducted several creations, recordings for radio and CD and regularly ventured into crossover projects, but is mostly known for his broad repertoire of symphonic music, oratorios, and especially operas and operettas.  

Geert Soenen has conducted numerous orchestras, including the chamber orchestra Amanti dell'Arte, which he himself founded, the Prague Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra of Flanders, Apollo Symphonic Orchestra, Brussels Festival Orchestra, Brussels Symphony Orchestra, Leuven University Orchestra and the orchestras of KASK & Conservatorium. In doing so, he collaborated with numerous choirs and countless domestic and foreign soloists.  

As assistant conductor at the Vlaamse Opera, he worked with Jean-Claude Casadesus, Massimo Zanetti, Donato Renzetti, Arnold Östman and Jos Van Immerseel. Moreover, in Così fan Tutte he was also in charge of the chorus of the Vlaamse Opera.

A regular guest at the Lyrica concerts in Ghent, he conducted, in addition to many opera and bel canto concert programs, many integral operas and operettas. This probably makes him one of the few conductors in Flanders with such an impressive opera (and operetta) repertoire.   

In recent years he also conducted, among other things, Shostakovich's Tenth Symphony and Mahler's First Symphony with great success at concerts in Ghent (Groenzaal and Miry Concertzaal) and Antwerp (De Singel) for which the orchestras Jong Symfonisch Gent and Amaj (Antwerp) had joined forces, as well as a concert together with pianist Vitaly Samoshko.  

Since 2017, he has been conducting the Ghent choir Cantandum. Furthermore, in addition to teaching general music theory and ear training at the Ghent Conservatory, he is also the permanent conductor of the choir Fa.Si.nant from Baarle and the Ghent Symphony Orchestra and is associated as a piano teacher at the Academy of Performing Arts Harelbeke.