Oboe: Korneel Alsteens

Kristal Klaar (oboe)

Brosella and the Kunsthumaniora van Brussel are presenting the 3rd edition of “Kristal Klaar”, three pupil-tutor concerts in Gemeenschapscentrum De Markten in Brussels. The second concert in the series is scheduled on Thursday February 17th at 20.00 hours. It is entirely dedicated to the oboe and will be conducted by Korneel Alsteens.

The young talents, as well as the quartet of experienced musicians, will play Austrian classical music from the 18th and 19th century and British music from the 20th century. This way you will have the pleasure to discover, not only the cheerful, fresh and bright sound of the oboe, but also it’s dreamy, warm and melodious side.


Once more young talented musicians of the Kunsthumaniora van Brussel will guarantee a unique experience. Oboe player Hanne Nijs, violinist Charlotte Knops, viola player Alan Van Rompuy and cello player Jef Permentier will guide you first to Wales for the 20th century adaption by Ralph Vaughan Williams of the “St Denio” hymn. Then they go back in time. They travel to the Austro-Hungarian Empire to introduce Georg Druschetzky, born in 1745, who wrote several works for oboe quartets. You will hear his quartet in G minor.

Hanne Nijs (oboe) is originated from Ninove. She has been looking for her sounding board for a while, but made the oboe definitely hers, after being enchanted by the duck in Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf”. Together with her teacher, Korneel Alsteens, she happens to be the smallest class of the Kunsthumaniora van Brussel. In the meantime she has also joined the Koninklijke Harmonie Sint-Cecilia of Meerbeke and the Jeugdharmonie Taccato.

Charlotte Knops (violin) started to play the violin at the age of five and took later on lessons at the Academy of Vilvoorde under the direction of Yumika Lecluyse. Today, she’s studying at the Kunshumaniora van Brussels, under the guidance of Erik Sluys, and also at the Academy of Anderlecht, where she’s also having singing lessons by Annelies Dille. Charlotte is a member of the VUB Orchestra, conducted by Jurgen Wayenberg, and the Brussels Sinfonietta, conducted by Luc Bartholomeus. She’s first violinist of the recent created string quartet Bheqoise. She had the honour to play as a soloist with the Koninklijke Harmonie Sint-Ceceilia of Asse at the Spring Concerts of 2008, in Veurne in the presence of princes Astrid.

Alan Van Rompuy (viola) started to play the violin at the age of five and moved on to the viola at the age of fourteen. He’s studying at the Kunshumaniora van Brussels under the guidance of Marc Claes. He’s not only passionate about string instruments, but he’s also a gifted composer. Every year, he joins the master classes of the renowned composer Wim Henderickx.

Jef Permentier (cello) started to study the cello at the age of five at NIKO in Overpelt, under the conduction of Vera Baliko. He joined the Kunsthumaniora van Brussel in 2009 and is studying under the guidance of Steven Cayers. He was also part of classes by Guy Danel and Jaap Kruithof. In 2009, Jef also joined the freshly created Phoenixstringquartet. This new string quartet had already the opportunity to be part of master classes by the Danel Quartet and members of world famous quartets such as Prazak, Manfred and Castagnerie. Jef performed with the Phoenixstringquartet at the Festival van Vlaanderen in Limburg.

The oboe sets the tone…

Oboe player Korneel Alsteens, violinist Veerle Houbraken, viola player Kris Hellemans and cello player Renaat Ackaert are all part of the Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen. They share every year for dozens of concerts the stages of the most important venues in the country with renowned Belgian and international conductors and soloists. But they also share their affection for Chamber music, being part of different ensembles. Especially for Kristal Klaar, they will perform for the very first time as an oboe and string trio.

The “Phantasy Quartet” is an early work of the British composer Benjamin Britten. But you can already hear what will become the typical style of the older Britten: a mixture of bitter and sweet, of dreamy sceneries and cutting movements, of silence and the mystery of the night.

Schubert’s early romantic “String Trio in Bes D.471” is also an early creation. Despite the fact that the Austrian emphases more on dramatic language, one will also recognize the bright, gracious atmosphere, well-known to his famous fellow-countryman Mozart.

During his stay in Munich to prepare the premiere of the opera “Idomeneo, Rè di Creta” (1781), Mozart composed the Quartet in F for oboe, violin, viola and cello, KV 370. The cheerful beginning and end have a contrastive effect on the gloomy middle part.

Korneel Alsteens started his oboe studies under the guidance of Willy Smekens. He gratuated Magna Cum Laude in 2001 at the Royal Flemish Conservatory of Antwerp under the direction of Joris Van den Hauwe. He specialized afterwards with the support of Eric Speller and Korneel and studied English horn with Dimitri Mestdag. He participated in the master classes of Joost Gils, Henk Swinnen, Dominik Wollenweber and François Leleux.
Korneel is laureate of the Muziekverbond van België contest and of the 1990 Jong Tenuto contest with a composition of his own. He was for seven years member of the Brussels Youth Orchestra, before joining the Filharmonisch Jeugdorkest van Vlaanderen. In 2001, he took part in the European tour of the European Union Youth Orchestra, under the direction of Sir Colin Davis and Paavo Järvi. He also performed a couple of years with the Young Janácek Philharmonic, formed by young musicians from all over Europe, under the direction of the British conductor, Jan Latham-Koenig. As a soloist, he performed with the Antwerp Conservatory orchestra, the Vlaams Radio Orkest and the Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen. He won the Debuutprijs Kamermuziek 2000 of Jeugd & Muziek Vlaanderen with his wind quintet Cinque Venti and recorded two albums with music of 20th century wind quintets on the record labels of Radio 3 and Klara.
Today, Korneel is first oboist at the Symfonieorkest van Vlaanderen and member of the wind ensemble I Solisti del Vento. He teaches oboe at the academies of Hamme and Oud-Heverlee and at the Kunsthumaniora Brussel.

Veerle Houbraken (violin) studied at the Academy of Gentbrugge under MJ Rijmenants and was a finalist of the Charles de Bériot competition and the Axion Classics. She graduated at the Conservatoire de Musique de Bruxelles under the guidance of A.Korniszewski and moved on to the classes of Professor Doctor Jiri Tomasek at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. Today, she performs regularly with the Brussels Philharmonic, the Flemish Opera, several chamber music ensembles and is a fulltime member of Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen.

Kris Hellemans (viola) learned to play the accordion at the age of six under the guidance of his mother. But a couple of years later he couldn’t resist the call of the viola. He studied at the Lemmens Institute under Marc Tooten, at the Conservatory of Maastricht and in Leuven and took part in master classes by P. Silverthorne, V. Mendelssohn, P. Coletti, A. Viytovich and T. Zimmermann. After graduation, he specialized in Paris under B.Pasquier. Since 2006, Kris is a leader at the Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen. But he keeps also focusing on chamber music: with the Bl!indman Strings Quartet he joined in 2006 the Orpheus Institute in Ghent and he’s member of the Alfama Quartet since 2008. He was part of chamber music master classes by the Artemis Quartett, Quatuor Danel, Spiegel String Quartet, H. Müller, E. Feltz, P. Graffin, J. Reuling, R. Chase and R. Capuçon.

Renaat Ackaert (cello) studied under the direction of Paul Van Egghen, France Springuel and Ilia Laporev. He’s a “Jong Tenuto” laureate and won the 1st prize in the Axion Classics. Today, Renaat is a leader at the Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen, member of the Alfama Quartet, he’s teaching cello and instrumental ensemble at the Academies of Avelgem and Oudenaarde and he’s conducting the chamber music ensemble Da Capo.


Ralph Vaughan Williams: St. Denio (Scherzo: Allegro Vivace) from ‘Three Preludes on Welsh Hymn Tunes - Household Music’
Georg Druschetzky: Quartet in G for oboe, violin, viola and cello
I. Adagio – Allegro
II. Andante
III. Allegro


Benjamin Britten: Phantasy Quartet, op. 2
Franz Schubert: String Trio in Bes, D.471
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Kwartet in F for oboe, violin, viola and cello, KV 370
I. Allegro
II. Adagio
III. Rondo: Allegro (ma non troppo)

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