Philippe, Knight Herreweghe (Born May 2, 1947) is a Belgian conductor.
Herreweghe was born in Ghent. In his hometown he combined studies at the University of Ghent (medical science and psychiatry) with a musical education at the Conservatory, where Marcel Gazelle, Yehudi Menuhin's accompanist, was his piano teacher. In the same period he began conducting and in 1970 founded the Collegium Vocale Ghent, and gave up medicine. Very soon Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Gustav Leonhardt took notice of his musical approach, and invited him and the Collegium Vocale Ghent to join them in their recordings of the complete Bach cantatas.
Philippe Herreweghe (fee-LEEP HEHR-uh-way-zhuh)'s authentic approach to baroque music came to be widely recognized, and in 1977 he founded another ensemble in Paris, La Chapelle Royale, to perform the music of the French Golden Age. Since then he has started several other groups and ensembles with whom he managed to create a repertoire stretching from the Renaissance to contemporary music: the Ensemble Vocale Européen, specialised in Renaissance polyphony, and the Orchestre des Champs Elysées, founded in 1991 to bring alive, once again, the repertoire of the romantic and pre-romantic era on original instruments.
He is principally known as a conductor of Johann Sebastian Bach, the German composer who wrote over one thousand works. He is regarded by leading Bach scholars today as a founding father of the baroque authentic practice, original instrument movement and one of record label Harmonia Mundi's most prolific recording artists, with over sixty albums to his name.
As a guest conductor, Philippe Herreweghe has conducted a number of well known orchestras including the Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam, the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Dutch Broadcasting Orchestra, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic, and the Royal Flemish Philharmonic. Philippe Herreweghe was artistic director of the Festival of Saintes in 1982 and voted European Musician of the Year in 1990. Since 1998, he is artistic director of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic.
Among his principal recordings are:
* Mozart, Requiem, Collegium Vocale and La Chapelle Royale, Harmonia Mundi, 1997
* Bach, Magnificat, La Chapelle Royale, Harmonia Mundi, 1999
* Bach, Matthäus-Passion (St Matthew Passion), Collegium Vocale, Harmonia Mundi, 1999
* Rameau, Les Indes Galantes, La Chapelle Royale, Musique d'Abord, 2000
* Bach, St. John Passion, Collegium Vocale, Harmonia Mundi, 2003
* Beethoven, Symphony no. 9, Harmonia Mundi, 2003
* Brahms, Ein deutsches Requiem
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