CASCO Phil (Chamber Orchestra of Belgium)
Unexpected, adventurous, colourful and utterly flexible! This is how CASCO Phil presents itself. Adjectives which could also describe Benjamin Haemhouts, who has been the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor since its creation in 2008.
The Chamber Orchestra of Belgium or CASCO Phil is an innovative and adventurous collective in the guise of a classical orchestra, providing tailor-made solutions to every new challenge they set for themselves – and these are many and varied! CASCO Phil is like a music workshop where experiment in the broadest sense of the word, across all art forms, is combined with the traditional practice. By breaking open the traditional orchestral structure they force themselves to seek out new creative boundaries. CASCO Phil provides a creative hub for emerging talent, bringing them together with the very best established soloists and conductors. At the heart of the ensemble are its core group of world-class musicians, perfectly in tune with each other and with the ensemble's mission. This gives the collective a real dynamism and energy on stage that is immediately felt by the audience.
Thanks to CASCO Phil’s forward-thinking leadership, the collective has been involved in a wide range of creative projects, such as “Lost and found”, “Golf goes Classic”, “Symphonic Leadership” or “Cooking with Mozart”. A major part of their work focuses on social commitment and children, for example, with their project “A Little Beethoven”. CASCO Phil’s approach, according to which all levels of the population should have access to music and that an orchestra should be an active member in society, has gained enormous attraction in Belgium and is also becoming increasingly popular internationally. Consequently, CASCO Phil is being described as a big house with many rooms, as it houses a “House for Social Engagement”, a “House for Young Composers” and a “House for Children” (Muziek en Woord). For example, one of their initiatives is to give young Belgian composers the opportunity to write new work under the supervision of a renowned composer.
Contemporary dance has also played a prominent role in CASCO Phil’s creative output, presenting ground-breaking performances and projects, such as choreographies by Martha Graham, Maurice Béjart and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, which were co-produced with the Opera Ballet Vlaanderen.
CASCO Phil’s innovative endeavours have led them to release “Once in a Weill”, a cabaret-inspired CD that explores the power of Kurt Weill’s vital musical heritage with mezzo-soprano Helene Bracke.
Selection of Programmes
Henri Dutilleux Symphony No. 1
Frédéric Devreese Benvenute Suite
Camille Saint-Saëns Danse Macabre, op. 40
Claude Débussy La Mer
Alternative for the violin pieces
Henri Vieuxtemps Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Minor, Op. 37
Other pieces to add/exchange
Cèsar Franck Symphony in D Minor
Frédéric Devreese L'oeuvre au noir Suite
"Tales and Heroes"
Benjamin Haemhouts Overture
Hans Vercauteren Reinaert Fantasie
Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 3 in E♭ Major
"Between Heaven and Earth"
Joseph Haydn Der Schöpfung - Die Vorstellung des Chaos
Hans Vercauteren Ich Glaube Nicht an den Himmel
Stefan Prins Körper
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi Salve Regina in C Minor
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Symphony No. 41 "Jupiter"
Arvo Pärt Cantus In Memoriam Benjamin Britten