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Biography

The roots of the Harmonie St. Michaël van Thorn go back to 1839. In that year, the first amateur wind music company, consisting of residents of Thorn, was founded under the name "Philharmonic Company" Concordia ". The two current Thorn harmonies have emerged from this "Philharmonic Society". Nearly a quarter of a century after its founding, in 1863, years of subterranean tensions led to a definitive rupture within the Philharmonic Society. Two new associations emerged from this: Harmony St. Michael of Thorn (the "Goats") and the Royal Harmony of Thorn (the "Bokken").

The "St. Michaël" Wind Orchestra of Thorn has undergone a development in its history that has brought the orchestra to a symphonic wind orchestra and at a top level and has meanwhile gained international fame. In addition to regular concert series in the Netherlands, this is demonstrated by the concert trips to almost all countries of the European Union, in particular to Spain, Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg. These performances are based on an innovative choice of repertoire and groundbreaking music. Among other things, the orchestra plays a pioneering role in the symphonic wind music world.

In addition to the romantic and popular works, modern contemporary and avant-garde compositions were programmed. The orchestra tries to find a balance between original compositions for concert band and arrangements of symphonic repertoire. Original works by Dutch composers such as Johan de Meij, Hardy Mertens, Jochem Slothouwer, Henk Badings, Robert Heppener, Jurriaan Andriessen, Bernard van Beurden, Marc van Delft and Henk Alkema were performed similar to works by renowned foreign composers such as Karel Husa, Günther Schuller , Václav Nelhýbel, Vincent Persichetti, Alfred Reed, Jacqueline Fontyn, Jean Absil, Willem Kersters, Florent Schmitt, Amando Blanquer Ponsoda, Kenjiro Urata and Ida Gotkovsky.

The orchestra received invitations to international festivals for (modern) symphonic wind music, including at the Festliche Musiktage für zeitgenössische Blasmusik in Uster, Switzerland, the European Wind Band Festival in London and several times a Dutch representative at the international conferences of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE).

At the World Music Competition in Kerkrade, the orchestra in the highest division (concert department) has already received the highest international award three times. Various foreign and almost all Dutch broadcasters made concert recordings of the orchestra.

The most recent highlight from Harmony St. Michael's glorious history was realized on Saturday 26 May 2018 in the Center for Fine Arts in Brussels. Then with the works "Dionysiaques" by Florent Schmitt, the compulsory work "Mutations" by Bart Picqueur and "Feste Romane" by Ottorino Respighi, the European Championship was achieved with a score of 97.92 points.

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