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Francis Pollet

Francis Pollet started his musical career at the age of 6 at the Peter Benoît academy in Harelbeke (Belgium). He studied the violin and started to play the bassoon at the age of 12. Very soon he travelled as a young bassoon player with different youth orchestra’s through Europe, Canada and North-America.

At the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp, he received with great distinction the Higher Diploma’s for Bassoon and Chamber Music as well as the Pedagogical Certificate for both disciplines. At the same time, he obtained the Diploma Performing Musician; Bassoon at the conservatory in Rotterdam and studied privately with Brian Pollard, former soloist at the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam. He studied orchestral conducting with Fris Celis and Sylveer Van den Broeck. Besides, he obtained with great distinction the master of Culture Management at the University of Antwerp. 

His professional career started at a very young age. As an 18-year old, he was already a soloist at the Flemish Opera. He became a member of the previous BRT Philharmonic Orchestra and the orchestra of ‘La Monnaie’, the National Opera. From 1985 to 1988 he was a solo bassoonist at the Philharmonic Orchestra of Flanders. Between 1988 and 1990 he was a member of the New Belgian Chamber Orchestra. For more than 15 years he worked closely with the ensemble I Fiamminghi. He was also a welcome guest soloist in the Netherlands (Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Residentie-Orchestra The Hague, Netherlands Philharmonic, Brabant Orchestra).

He performed as a soloist at prestigious festivals in Belgium and abroad, with e.g. I Fiamminghi, The New Belgian Chamber Orchestra, the Salzburger Solisten, clarinetist Karl Leister and Paul Meyer, pianists Michel Béroff, Stefan Vladar and Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden, the Chamber Orchestra Harmonices Mundi from Linz, ‘Les violons du Roi’ from Canada, the Beethoven Academy, deFilharmonie, The Flemish Radio Choir a.o. He played different bassoon concerti from Vivaldi until today with conductors among whom Sylveer Van den Broeck, Rudolph Werthen, Frank Shipway, Witold Rowicki, Hervé Nicquet, Jan Caeyers, Lucas Vis, Etienne Siebens… 

The last few years, Francis Pollet is no longer attached to any orchestra, but plays as freelance bassoon soloist. He is professor bassoon and chamber music at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp. At the Conservatory, he was part of the artistic directorate and the Council of the College Antwerp, department of Dramatic Art, Music and Dance. 

His great predilection for chamber music and musical theatre lead to intriguing collaborations and exciting combinations with other disciplines. With his hunger for adventure and inspiration, he wants to surprise, excite and move a large audience. I SOLISTI Belgian wind ensemble Antwerp is the result of his artistic drive and creativity. Francis Pollet is the founding father and artistic director of this renowned wind ensemble that performs throughout Europe and is structurally recognized and subsidized by the Flemish Government. I SOLISTI is a resident at deSingel International Arts Campus and in residence at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp. 

Subject: Section leader Woodwind instruments, Bassoon, Creative project, Chamber music, Teaching methodology bassoon