Collegium Vocale Gent

Was founded in 1970 on the initiative of Philippe Herreweghe. It was one of the first ensembles to use the then-new ideas about baroque practice in vocal music performances. Musicians such as Gustav Leonhardt, Ton Koopman and Nikolaus Harnoncourt immediately took an interest in the Flemish ensemble's fresh, new approach, which led to intensive collaboration. In the mid-1980s the ensemble acquired international fame and was invited to all the major concert halls and music festivals of Europe, Israel, the United States, Russian, South America, Japan, Hong Kong and Australia.

The repertoire of Collegium Vocale Gent is not limited to one particular stylistic period.The ensemble's greatest strength is that it can put together the ideal combination of voices for performing Renaissance polyphony, Classical and Romantic oratorios or contemporary music. Since 2009 a collaboration has been set up with the Accademia Chigiana in Siena for the performance of the major symphonic repertoire and recruitment of singers at the European level. Baroque music, and in particular the works of J.S. Bach and G.F. Händel, is the mainstay of the ensemble's concert schedule.

The ensemble has built up an extensive discography of over 65 recordings under the direction of Philippe Herreweghe, both singing a cappella and accompanied by the baroque orchestra of Collegium Vocale Gent or the Orchestre des Champs Elysées, primarily with the Harmonia Mundi France and Virgin Classics labels. Recent CDs include the splendid Cantiones Sacrae sex vocum by Orlandus Lassus (HMC901984) and J.S.Bach's cantatas Jesu, deine Passion (HMC901998).

Collegium Vocale Gent has worked with various baroque orchestras and ensembles such as the Freiburger Barockorchester and Ricercar Consort as well as with traditional symphony orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic and the Royal Flemish Philharmonic. Besides Philippe Herreweghe the ensemble has been conducted by leading conductors such as Sigiswald Kuijken, René Jacobs, Daniel Reuss, Philippe Pierlot, Paul Van Nevel, Bernard Haitink, Ivan Fischer, Marcus Creed, James Wood and Peter Phillips. Collegium Vocale Gent is sponsored by the Flemish Community, the Province of Eastern Flanders and the city of Gent.