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 already conducted orchestras such as the Lucerne Symphony, Netherlands Chamber and Flanders Symphony, and in spring 2016 made his opera debut with performances of Puccini’s La Bohème at Opera Zuid with the South Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra.
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, Flanders Symphony, South Netherlands Philharmonic and Arnhem Philharmonic orchestras.
In spring 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 Theatre de Luxembourg in December of the same year.
Building on his success, Karel made debuts last season with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra and Württemberg Chamber Orchestra in Heilbronn, whilst the 17/18 season includes debuts with the National Orchestra of Belgium and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra.
In the operatic field, Karel returns this season to Opera Zuid for 17 performances of Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera, and conducts Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia with the Dutch National Opera Academy.
Karel has worked twice with the Royal Concertgebouw Orkest in an assistant conductor capacity, most recently to Daniele Gatti in performances of Mahler 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