In 2018 violinist Jolente De Maeyer decided to give Het Kamerorkest Brugge a new start. Founded in 1970 by Patrick Peire under the name Collegium Instrumentale Brugense, the orchestra was renamed Het Kamerorkest Brugge in 2009. Jolente De Maeyer starts a new chapter with BRYGGEN - Bruges Strings.
Not only does the orchestra have nearly 50 years of experience, it is and remains the only professional string orchestra in Belgium that works without a conductor.
Rather than a blank slate, it is an opportunity for Jolente De Maeyer to give the orchestra a deserved place in Belgian and international music life with renewed inspiration and approach. She wants to further expand the orchestra into a dynamic ensemble with a unique profile that guarantees the highest artistic quality and original programming.
The future is diverse for BRYGGEN. On the one hand, Jolente wants to evolve the orchestra's identity that has been built up over the years: the core repertoire of the orchestra has been expanded with important 20th-century and 21st-century works, with the main focus on music from the post-modern movement; composers such as Arvo Pärt, Max Richter, Philip Glass, Pēteris Vasks, Gia Kancheli and others, who incidentally give strings a prominent place in their work.
On the other hand, she wants to create unique collaborations with artistic partners in interdisciplinary projects; the mobile and flexible occupation of the orchestra is ideal for collaborations with theater, dance, film, visual arts and other art forms.
Another ambition is to create new initiatives that introduce people to classical music in a different way. By focusing on areas that also appeal to young people, such as climate change, she hopes to be heard by that particular audience.
Jolente De Maeyer is artistic director of BRYGGEN - Bruges Strings.