Young Belgian conductor Karel Deseure is a highly gifted artist with a deeply thoughtful musical approach and a calm authority on the podium. He has conducted orchestras such as the Lucerne Symphony, Netherlands Chamber and Antwerp Symphony, and in the current season makes his third appearance with Opera Zuid in the Netherlands, conducting Bernstein’s A Quiet Place.
Belgian conductor Karel Deseure is an artist of natural conducting talent and authority, quickly becoming known for his thoughtful, intelligent approach and interpretative flair. Former Assistant Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Karel has conducted extensively across Belgium and the Netherlands, regularly receiving re-invitations from orchestras such as the Brussels Philharmonic, Royal Liège Philharmonic, Antwerp Symphony and Arnhem Philharmonic orchestras.
Karel has made debuts in recent seasons with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, National Orchestra of Belgium and the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra in Heilbronn. In the current season, Karel conducts the New Year concerts at Orkest van het Oosten, makes his debut with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and returns to the Flanders Symphony and South Netherlands Philharmonic orchestras.
In 2016, Karel made a critically acclaimed opera debut at Opera Zuid in the south Netherlands with Puccini’s La Bohème, bringing the production to the Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg in December of the same year. Following that, he was re-invited to conduct 14 performances of Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera, with a further return in 18/19 for Bernstein’s A Quiet Place. In early 2018, Karel worked with the Dutch National Opera Academy in performances of Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia in The Hague and Budapest.
Karel has worked twice with the Royal Concertgebouw Orkest in an assistant conductor capacity, most recently to Daniele Gatti in performances of Mahler’s Symphony no.2.
Originally a flautist, Karel earned his Master’s degree at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp, subsequently studying conducting at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. In 2012, he won 2nd prize and the public’s prize at the ‘Concours International de Direction d’Orchestre’ in Paris, and later that year he was awarded the prestigious conducting scholarship of the Anton Kersjes Foundation.
Karel is privileged to have been chosen for prestigious international masterclasses: with Bernard Haitink during the 2014 Lucerne Festival; with Peter Eötvös at the IRCAM with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France; and with Christopher Seaman and the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich.
“The main attraction is the Philharmonie Zuidnederland under the baton of young conductor Karel Deseure… Deseure leads the Philharmonie Zuidnederland in an excellent performance, allowing plenty of space and colour for Verdi’s light and dark meandering melodies.” (Trans.) NRC, June 2018
“It was the orchestra in the pit that commanded your attention. Led by the Belgian Karel Deseure (who made his opera conducting debut) the South Netherlands Philharmonic played with great warmth and engagement, with a sense of phrasing and musical direction, and with beautifully highlighted details” De Limburger, May 2016