By its allusion to the pre-romantic current known as Sturm und Drang, an 18th century youth-led movement whose ideals were freedom, passion and the emancipation of the individual, Sturm und Klang (“Storm and Sound”), claims energy, spirit and enthusiasm as its major assets. It is in this spirit that the musicians of the orchestra, founded in 2000 by Thomas Van Haeperen, share a driving commitment to projects that demand their dynamism, sensitivity and creativity.
Sturm und Klang's programming focuses essentially on repertoires of the 20th and 21st centuries, with original and demanding projects, in a spirit of discovery, dialogue and conquest of new ways of listening. It also actively supports Belgian musical creation, in particular the young generation (d'Hoop, Slinckx, Tsilogiannis, Grisi, Orlando, etc.) by organising workshops for composers and through regular commissions.
Depending on the repertoire, Sturm und Klang performs as a full orchestra (Sturm und Klang Orchestra) or as a smaller ensemble (Sturm und Klang Ensemble).
Sturm und Klang is also regularly invited to the festivals Ars Musica, LOOP, the Inattendues, Midis-Minimes, Les Festivals de Wallonie, BE:Classics (Paris), Hörfest Neue Musik (Detmold) and performs at the Halles de Schaerbeek, Espace Senghor, Flagey, the Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles and La Monnaie. The orchestra also performs an autonomous and bold programme every year. Among Sturm und Klang's recordings, the CD dedicated to Jean-Marie Rens' piece for string orchestra, Monolithe (Cypres records), received an Octave de la musique in 2012. A CD dedicated to Jacques Lenot’s work will be published in 2018.
Concert recordings are broadcast on Musiq'3 and Klara radio stations.
Sturm und Klang regularly hosts guest soloists such as Michael Bennett, Cindy Castillo, Marie-Laure Coenjaerts, Manu Comté, Berten D'Hollander, Frédéric d'Ursel, Victor Julien-Laferrière (winner of the first edition of the Queen Elisabeth Cello Competition in 2017), Adrien Lambinet, Shirly Laub, Anne Maistriau, Philippe Raskin, Peter Sheppard Skaerved, Piet Van Bockstal, Boyan Vodenitcharov, et al.
Sturm und Klang is mainly supported by the commission for contemporary music of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation. The ensemble works regularly in collaboration with the Composer’s Forum and the ECSA (European Composer and Songwriter Alliance). It has been part of the European network New:Aud, which aims for a wider dissemination of contemporary repertoire.
Since 2018, the ensemble has also benefited from a 5-year contract-programme grant from the Wallonia-Brussels Federation.
© Thorsten Krienke
© Andrea Messana