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Applause academic year 2023-2024

Lead and supporting roles, debut and compilation albums, finals, beginner's luck and career awards ... find out here who received recent applause and why in academic year 2023-2024.


AUGUST // Krankkk takes over booth at Pukkelpop with quirky immersive experience.

JANUARY // Bram De Looze (piano) releases new album. Spotting Getaways gets four stars in De Standaard. - Vitja Pauwels (guitar) gives excellent concert and makes great album together with his great idol Marc Ribot.

FEBRUARY // Jazz programme is well represented at De Twintigers: Gert-Jan Dreesen (drums) and Adia Vanheerentals (sax) are part of the 2024 line-up.

APRIL // Alumni Yentl Verborgt and Jasper De Roeck dove into the studio together to record their first EP. More news soon, no doubt!

MAY // AKI, the band of jazz alumna Anke Verslype, released the first single from their new album last week. Now available for listening everywhere! 

JUNE // "Nobody can ignore jazz guitarist Vitja Pauwels anymore". Not our words, but who are we to question journalist Tom Peeters' opinion? You can read the full article on our Jazz alumnus here (in Dutch).

Classical Music

SEPTEMBER // Composer Siebe Thys moves to Graz to complete his programme as a composer.

OCTOBER // Fleur Strijbos, vocal studies alumna, has been chosen as artist in residence with the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel since October 2023.

NOVEMBER // Bernardo Beirão won the prestigious Sabam prize for composition. Bernardo graduated from the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp in June 2023 with the highest mark for composition. - Irene Martin Sanchez has been selected as 2nd oboe in the National Orchestra of Belgium after a successful audition. - Brass Band Willebroek, in which the Antwerp Conservatoire is exceptionally well represented, won the 2023 Belgian Brass Band Championship.

DECEMBER // 3 students studying piano with Nikolaas Kende won prizes at the latest EPTA awards. In the highest grade, first prize went to Yaroslav Kryzhanivskyi and second prize to Brecht Valckenaers. In the third category, first prize went to Jonathan Ide.

FEBRUARY // Also this year familiar names among ten musicians who will make their appearance at De Twintigers on Klara in 2024: soprano Fleur Strijbos, violinist Veronique De Raedemaeker and cellist Nina Vanhoenacker are three alumni at Classical Music. - Percussionist Manuel Velert Márquez gets to play for the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) after a successful audition.  - Percussionist Grim Ongena was selected for the Netherlands Student Orchestra.

MARCH // Mathijs Everts won the audition 1st soloist percussion with Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège. - Viola player Jose Azevedo came top of the audition and will join the Belgian National Orchestra in Brussels.

APRIL // Classical Guitar alumna Cézanne Van de Voorde launches her album "Was dit het nu?", with Dutch-language listening songs about recognisable situations on Radio 2 during Benebene. - Students and alumni Erica Tuik-Vogel, Elizabeth Salerno and Ana Mondéjar Amat reached the semi-finals of The National Flute Association Piccolo Artist Competition. Curious to see where that ends up already! • Jessica Harper, alumna 2022 Vocal Department, was selected as a Stipendiatin (scholarship holder/ young artist) for the Bayreuther Festspiele. • Piccolo master student Carina Herdin won the audition for 3d flute and piccolo with the Landespolizeiorchester NRW. • Master student Flute Denisa Geislerova signed a contract with the Kupio Finland Orchestra. • Prince K. Appia plays the main character in De Lange Wapper, a play by Clara Cleymans for which composition alumn Noah Senden wrote the music and cello alumn and current teacher Stijn Saveniers is conducting. // Alumna vocal studies Fleur Strijbos won first prize in the 'Professionals' category at the XVth Concours Lyrique International Bell'Arte. Bryggen was awarded the Ultima for Classical Music last week! Bryggen, that is, teacher Jolente De Maeyer and a whole bunch of Conservatoire alumni. Business leader is teacher Aaron Wajnberg. - After a record number of applications, alumni Babette Craens (piano) and Fleur Stijbos (vocal studies) were selected as one of only five duos by Friends of Song. They were allowed to perform concerts and were featured extensively in the accompanying professional magazine. - Last weekend, the European Music Festival took place in Pelt. 91 choirs with a total of 2884 singers from 19 countries took part. Some of the imposed works they were presented with were written by students and alumni of our school: Lara Denies, Richard He and Vigdis Hansa Elst. - Julita Burzynska, alumna flute, won third prize in the Tampere International Flute Competition!

MAY // Unbelievable! Educational Master of Music students Davy Bonnarens and Dauphine Van der Velpen took advantage of their internship to immerse 23 students in a real music bath. In three months' time, the children learnt how to pull off a wind instrument and gave a fun final concert. RTV stood by and watched. - Auditions for the Orchestra Academy took place in early May. Three students were selected and get to play a production at La Monnaie and the National Orchestra of Belgium next season: Rubén Esparza (Bassoon), Javier Navarro Elizari (trumpet), Karel Opsteyn (percussion). - Alumna vocal studies Fleur Strijbos won first prize in the 'Professionals' category at the XVth Concours Lyrique International Bell'Arte.

JUNE // Anna Alvizou (alumna Piano) and Jessica Harper (alumna Vocal Studies) conquered silver in the international song competition 'Bolko Van Hochberg'. - Phaedra Pribilla, vocal studies student, was selected as Artist in Residence at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel. She will start in September. 


AUGUST // Johannes Lievens will create and perform his first theatre monologue at Zomer Van Antwerpen (August 2023). SEPTEMBER // Lil Alia, who won the moon rock rally in February 2023, will be artist in residence at Trix from September 2023! OCTOBER // Sander Deckx (Media, Writing & Performance Art, 2023) is not missing his moment after graduation. He scores hugely with his graduation performance Zonderzeeër and plays on various stages and festivals.

NOVEMBER // Nele Eeckhout, Siona Houthuys and Mirke Kist, the three pacesetters of AudioCollectief SCHIK received the Career Award at the Podcast Festival for their exceptional contribution to Flemish and Dutch podcasting history. The award was handed to them by alumna and Stubru face Michèle Cuvelier. On 11 November, they also released their new podcast 'De Erfenis'.

DECEMBER // Eliza Stuyck (alumna acting 2021) and Lilith Pas (alumna acting 2023) have been selected in East Flanders for Eigen Kweek, a development programme for the talent development of performing artists. They set up an all-female collective called OTTESSA. - In Antwerp, the project of the trio Timon Kouloumpis (current acting master's student), Helder Onkelinx and Ruben Pauwels (both acting 2023 alumni) was selected for Eigen Kweek. They will perform the play 'Enough about you now' by Magne van den Berg. JANUARY // 'Tosca' by Maud Vanhauwaert is on the longlist of the Libris Literature Prize.

FEBRUARY // Ensors for a whole host of alumni & teachers, including for their work in the film Wil and the 1985 series. - Lies and Saar (Music, Creation & Performance Art, 2023) launched their single Darling on Radio 2 with Kim Debrie, among others. Their EP is coming soon. -

MARCH // Lil Alia, alumna Music, Creation & Performance Art 2023, launches the songs she wrote for her master's thesis as an album. APRIL // Once again, audio collective SCHIK wins big time. Their podcast BOB is awarded best podcast ever by VPRO listeners. • Prince K. Appia plays the main character in De Lange Wapper, a play by Clara Cleymans for which composition alumn Noah Senden wrote the music and cello alumn and current teacher Stijn Saveniers is conducting.

APRIL // Once again, audio collective SCHIK wins. Their podcast BOB is awarded best podcast ever by VPRO listeners. - Acting alumnus Prince K. Appia and composition alumnus Noah Senden collaborated on Lange Wapper, a new performance for children, directed by Clara Cleymans. Prince was interviewed by De Standaard for the occasion. - New work by Music creation and performance art alumna (2023) Elaine Hakkaart! On 26 April, she unloaded the single 'Vreemde' she made for the NTR programme Bedstay. - Klara presenter and Acting alumnus Johannes Wirix-Speetjens launches the book and podcast 'Classical Queers' in which he tells stories of queer people who coloured art history.

MAY // Media, writing and performance art alumna Anneleen Van Offel wrote a book and she did it well. She received rave reviews for 'The Voice of Sulina' in Humo, De Standaard, and Focus Knack, among others. - They don't all have to be young to walk away with the applause, Hugo Sigal proved in the semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest last week. He and his wife Nicole were honoured during the live show. - Klaas Mertens, Drama alumnus, launched new music. The soundtrack of his master performance Luftslott (2023) can now be heard via your favourite streaming service.

JUNE // The play 'Desire' including alumn Drama Mick Galliot Fabre and teacher Louis Janssens was selected for The Theatre Festival 2024. • Yelena Schmits, alumna Media, writing and performance art, presented her new book on 15 June. In 'Hotel Kosmos', she recounts Maia's exciting adventures in the holiday park. How proud are we with the programme of Theater aan Zee? So many alumni on stage during the festival! A special mention for the Drama master students who get to reprise their final performance already.


MAY // Bachelor Dance alumna Marah Haj Hussein performs at the upcoming 'Het Theaterfestival' with her performance 'Language: no broblem'.

JUNE // Bachelor Dance alumnus Nick Coutsier is extensively interviewed by Nathalie Leysen (De Tijd) about his work as movement director. Read the full article here (In Dutch). • Alumna Kika Ilegems created the dance performance 'ONCE' together with her father Herwig Ilegems. You can go and enjoy it at the beginning of July at the Blikfabriek. • Together with his brother Flup and partner Ariadna Estalella Alba, teacher Tuur Marinus created 'A Walk In The Sculpture Park', a participatory audio work that is part of the 'Come Closer' expo in Middelheim Park. On display all summer long.