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Biography

 
Gerda playing baroque mandolin  

Gerda Abts studied mandolin and chamber music with Florian Heyerick at the "Koninklijk Vlaams Muziek Conservatorium" in Antwerp where she got her artist degree with great distinction in 1991 She received a concert degree in 1995 for mandolin at the "Hochschule für Musik" in Wüppertal (Germany) where she studied with Marga Wilden-Hüsgen. She attended various master classes given by a.o. Vincent Hladky and Detlev Tewes…

At the International Mandolin Competition in Vienna she won a first prize. Gerda plays regularly with all the main orchestra's in Belgium like the "Symfonisch Orkest van de Munt", the "Vlaamse Opera", the "Koninklijke Filharmonie van Vlaanderen", the "Vlaams Radio Orkest", and many other chamber music like "Champs d'action", the Beethoven Academie" and "Prima la Musica". The world famous baritone José Van Dam asked her several times to accompany the aria "Deh vieni alla finestra" from the opera "Don Giovanni" by Mozart.
Gerda gave recitals in Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain. She played several pieces on the CD "Marc Brillouet stelt voor…Marc Meersman". She founded and leads the "Antwerp Mandolin Orchestra".
Gerda Abts teaches at the music academy of Lier (departments Lier and Nijlen), Wijnegem
(departments Schilde and Zoersel Sint-Antonius) and Brasschaat. She is also temporary professor at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp.

 

 

Info: on page Contact

Music Academies Belgium: on page links

Gerda Abts teaches mandolin as professor in the following high schools (university degree):

  • Koninklijk Conservatorium Artesis Hogeschool Antwerpen Desguinlei 25, B-2018 Antwerpen 0032 32 44 18 00
    (entrance exam mandolin on Thursday 7th of May 16h + Wednesday 2 September 9.30h)

Gerda Abts with baroque mandolin (up). Bottom: Gerda and one of her pupils higher mandolin Marte De Leeuw 2012 on a concert in the historical Rocockshuis (museum) of Antwerp

 

The Antwerp Baroque Ensemble (ABE) 

...assembles enthousiast professional musicians,
around the remaining base with  Jef Van Boven and Pauline Bergsma (traverso), 
Hilde van Hoijweghen (baroque cello)
and Marie-Ange Boost (harpsichord, organ).
Each year they work with a certain project  
inviting other professional artists which brings an ever changing strength
with surprising results.
Also surprising is the conscious interaction with the pulic, actively involved at each performance.
Their recent projects: in 2011 "Echt Antwerps" together with word artist Katty Wtterwulghe, in 2012 "Les Amis de Versailles", 
together with four dancers, the "Modern Barock Ensemble", in 2013 
"Una Storia d’Amore" with Christel de Meulder, soprano, and 
Martin Hoevenaars, mime; December 2014 and 2015 together with  Gerda Abts "Una Corda di Gioia".

  ABE
 

Jef Van Boven: traverse flute
Co-founder of the ‘Antwerp Baroque Ensemble’. He studied flute, chamber music and orchestral conduction at the Royal Conservatoire of Music in Antwerp and Brussels. Jef made concert tours and radio- and televsion registrations with the well-known pianist-composor and conductor, Francis Glorieux in several countries in Europe. From 1972 to 1974 he was flutist at the Royal Military Band of Belgium. From 1974 to 2005 he taught flute and ensemble at the academy of music of Ekeren (Antwerp). In 1985 Jef founded the "Jozef Pauly Ensemble", with which he gave more than 180 concerts in 10 different countries, including Australia and USA. Since 2000 he specialised in early music. He performs regularly in duo with guitar, and is member of ensembles such as the "Spinetti Consort", the "Modern Barock Ensemble" and the ensemble "Entr'Acte". Beside his musical career Jef is also building historical keyboard instruments. In this function he is responsable for the maintenance of the harpsichords in the Artesis-Plantijn Highschool for Music in Antwerp.

 
Pauline Bergsma: traverse flute.
Cofounder of the ‘Antwerp Baroque Ensemble’. After her first price transverse flute and educational theory at the “Staatliche Hochschule für Musik” at Karlsruhe Pauline Bergsma studied traverso at the Lemmens Institution with Frank Theuns and at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Brussels with Barthold Kuijken. Afterwards she continued to follow several courses chamber music, traverse flute and traverso in Switzerland, Italy, France and Germany. Pauline is active in the music academy of Brasschaat.
 
Hilde van Hoijweghen: baroque cello
Studied cello, pedagogy and history of music at the Royal Flemish Conservatoire of Music in Antwerp . Hilde was active in several academies of music in Antwerp as well as in choirs. She was co-producer for the national radio program: Choirlife in Flanders, and was assistant librarian in Antwerp. Meanwhile Hilde specialised in baroque music and is now playing as cellist in ensembles such as “Entr’Acte”, the quatuor “Helicon” and the “Spinetti consort”. Next to this, she works as deaconess for “the Church Social Welfare Work of Antwerp”.
 
Marie-Ange Boost: harpsichord, organ
Graduated at the the Royal Flemish Conservatoire of Music in Antwerp for organ, music analysis and pedagogy. Of much influence was her harpsichord-study with Jos Van Immerseel. For several years she was teaching these subjects in this same highschool as well as in different academies of music. She performed in Europe, Japan and Australia. At the beginning of the ‘90’s, she interrupted her career to go sailing around the world, after which she choose to work free-lance. Marie-Ange is playing now in several ensembles such as the “Antwerp Collegium Musicum”, “Chapel Voices” and the “Modern Barock Ensemble” of which she is conductor.
 
ABE
 
  Pieter Van Tichelen graduated at the Catholic University of Leuven, where he obtained a Master's Degree in Musicology with high honours in 2000 on a thesis about the 17th century history of the mandolin. His recent research discoveries include a bundle of 18th century mandolin duets by Giacomo Merchi, a voluminous anonymous manuscript with baroque music for mandolin and basso continuo, and a hitherto unknown anonymous mandolin concerto. He serves as a permanent member of an international committee which organises symposia on mandolin history (and recently gained support by EGMEA). In the academic year 2011-2012, Pieter was appointed visiting professor of the course of mandolin literature at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Antwerp (Antwerpen Artesis Plantijnhogeschool).
Pieter Van Tichelen studied mandolin with Krista Sass at the music academy in Brasschaat until 1996 (graduated with highest honours) and is a laureate of the 1996-97 edition of the Nationale Wedstrijd voor Muziek en Woordkunst competition (now Dexia Classics). After studying musicology, he furthered his capabilities on the mandolin by studying a year at the Katholiek Conservatorium Tilburg with Benny Ludemann. Since the start of his studies at the university, Pieter has had the honour of occasional performances with several symphony and opera orchestras (eg. Vlaams Radio Orkest (now Brussels Philharmonic), the orchestra of the Vlaamse Opera and the orchestra of de Munt). He also plays as a regular member in the Brasschaats Mandoline-Orkest (since 1993), Duo Dolciastro together with guitar player Johan Dias (since 2002), and in the Dutch-Belgian folk band Aerdewerck since 2011 . Pieter worked on numerous CD recordings, either as guest musician (eg. on the CD "Het grote Boeboeksbal" with music by Brian Clifton, or the CD "Koning & Clochard" by Guido Belcanto), regular musician of the ensemble (eg. CDs 2 until 4 of the Brasschaats Mandoline-Orkest or the CD 'DeuGenieterij' of Aerdewerck).