foto: Jan Heuvelmans
picture: Jan Heuvelmans

The Antwerp Baroque Orchestra is a period-instrument ensemble well known for it’s pure and authentic performances of baroque music. Artistic director, Emmanuel Van Kerckhoven, concentrated his carreer on Bach’ music before he founded the orchestra in 2011.

The ensemble carefully chooses appropriate instruments, a suitable location and a well-considered interpretation. As a result, the vitality and subtle character of baroque work is transferred to the audience in a natural, spontaneous way.

The orchestra presents an exciting annual series of Bach cantatas performed at the Saint Norbert Church in Antwerp. These cantatas are embedded in the liturgical Sunday services for wich they were composed by Bach and like they were performed in that era.

The main repertoire consists about music between 1600 and 1750, with special regard for cantatas. Not only chuch cantatas by J.S. Bach, but also his secular cantatas or early North German ‘Geistliche Konzerte’ by Buxtehude or Tunder, cantatas by Telemann and Händel are performed by the orchestra. Van Kerckhoven creates a nice balance with instrumental pieces that connect seamlessly to the chosen theme. The single occupation within the orchestra makes the performances exceedingly vivid and expressive.

Recorder: Pieter Campo, Els Spanhove, Ann Weyenberg
Traverso: Ingrid De Witte, Sien Huybrechts, Jan Van den Borre
Oboe: Ilse Barbaix, Julia Fankhauser, Minori Saji, Katarzyna Sokolowska
Bassoon: Wannes Cuvelier, Marine Falque-Vert, Luk Torremans
Tromba: Alain De Rudder, Tom Gontier, Elena Torres, Niranjan Wijewickrema
Timpani: Jonathan Beyers, Sander Van der Kloot
Violin: Michiyo Kondo, An Van Laethem, Valeria Caponnetto, Ann Cnop, Marie Catherine Cumps, Stijn Schmeddes, Naomi Vercauteren
Viola: Heidi Verbruggen
Viola da gamba: Frank Liégeois, Lies Wyers
Violoncello: Tine Van Parys, Herlinde Verheyden, Lieselot Watté
Double bass: Pieter Lenaerts, Sanne Deprettere, Pieter Vandeveire
Theorbo: Pieter Theuns
Organ/harpsichord: Mario Sarrechia, Emmanuel Van Kerckhoven
Soprano: Astrid Stockman
Alto: Elisabeth Colson, Jorg Delfos
Tenor: Stephan Adriaens, Adriaan De Koster, Ivan Goossens
Bass: Patrick Pranger, Joris Stroobants



EMMANUEL VAN KERCKHOVEN – organist en artistic director

Emmanuel Van Kerckhoven is a Belgian organist. He started playing the organ at the age of five. He graduated with highest distinction at the Rotterdam Conservatory majoring in ‘organ and church music’ with Aart Bergwerff and Bernard Winsemius (organ), Folkert Grondsma (improvisation) and Arie Hoek (choral conducting, liturgy and hymnology). In 2008 he achieved a Master’s Degree. In addition to his studies, he attended several master classes with Ben van Oosten, Peter Planyavski, Jean Boyer, Bram Beekman and Daan Manneke.

At present, he is head organist of the Saint-Norbertus Church and the Saint Charles Borromeo’s Church in Antwerp.

In 2011 he initiated the Antwerp Bach Cantata Services. Therefore he founded The Antwerp Baroque Orchestra of which he is the artistic director.

In 2014, at the solemn reinstatement of the Moses and Aaron church in Amsterdam, he played the famous Adema / Philbert organ of this church.

Because of his special interest in pipe organ construction, he is involved as a consultant in various restoration projects of historic organs.

Van Kerckhoven also acts as a continuo player, accompanying artist, director or soloist. He regularly performs in Belgium and abroad. His repertoire is extensive, ranging from baroque to contemporary classical music, but his preference is the music of Bach.

Following a conversation with Professor Dr. M. Gielis (Tilburg University), the latter gave an article explaining Emmanuel Van Kerckhoven’s vision under the title: Church music must be a party. And recently a publication about him appeared: At Bach his intellect and feeling are in balance.