Liesbeth Baelus * violin
Still at the beginning of her musical career, Liesbeth performed already, as soloist and chamber musician, in most European countries as well as the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Liesbeth studies at the Royal Music Conservatory of Brussels with Prof. Yuzuko Horigome. In 2009, she has been chosen as student at the Queen Elisabeth College of Music, where she studied with the masters of the Artemis Quartet. She had the lifetime experience of being formed following the Suzuki violin method and started her violin studies when she was 4 years’ old in the class of Eveline Esser, followed by violin study from the age of 12 with Jerrold Rubenstein, professor at the Royal Conservatory of Music of Antwerp.
As soloist, she gives concerts in most European countries as well as in the Middle East, Africa and Asia with orchestra’s like: The Euregion Symphonic Orchestra, Les Symphonistes Européens, l’ensemble MUSICA, Nuove Musiche, the Euregio Jeugdorkest, de Koninklijke Muziekkapel van de Gidsen, Kristiansund Symphonic, Romsdal Orchester, Molde Sinfonietta, l’orchestre La Vraie Note, Suzhou Symphonic Orchesta, Nanjing Philarmonic Orchestra…
Also as chamber musician she toured in whole Europe with the ARSIS4 string quartet and the Resonance trio as well as in other formations.
She participates regularly in festivals and masterclasses all over Europe like ISA (Vienna), Encuentro Musica de Santander, International Mozart Festival Augsburg, IMS Prussia Cove, International Chamber Music Festival Weikersheim, Stage Internationale Morges,… There she worked together with musicians like: Zakhar Bron, Mihaela Martin, Pierre Amoyal, Augustin Dumay, Albrecht Breuninger, Joshua Epstein, Andras Keller, Heime Müller, Anner Bijlsma, Ralf Gothoni, Ferenc Rados, Artis Wien, Klangforum Wien, Nobulo Imai, Wolfram Christ, Philipe Grafin …
Liesbeth already won prices in several Violin Competitions. Recently in 2011 she recieved the award « Nelson Lekime » and in 2012 she won the prize « Lecrinier » in Brussels. As member of the ARSIS4 string quartet, she became laureate of the ‘Golden Wings’ Chamber Music Contest in 2009.
Kaja Nowak * violin
A soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician, Kaja performs in many European countries. At the age of thirteen she made her debut with the Rzeszów Philharmonic Orchestra and has since then performed with various orchestras in Poland, Germany and the Netherlands. As a chamber musician, Kaja has enjoyed collaborating with artists such as Ivry Gitlis, Philippe Graffin, Jean-Marc Philips-Varjabedian, Gary Hoffman, Nobuko Imai, Gérard Caussé, Michel Strauss and Christian Ivaldi among others, as well as with many exciting musicians of her generation. She has been invited to perform at chamber music festivals in France and the Netherlands such as Schiermonnikoog, Consonances, Musique de Chambre a Giverny. She has also performed chamber music in venues such as Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Anton Philipszaal – The Hague, or Flagey – Brussels, and was invited to play in a string trio during the celebrations of the 20 years’ anniversary of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, in the presence of the Dutch king Willem-Alexander.
Kaja is currently based in Brussels, Belgium, where she is pursuing her postgraduate studies with Philippe Graffin. She plays a Carlo Antonio Tanegia violin (Italy, 18th century). It is kindly loaned to her by Helen Brunner, to whom Kaja is also interpreter and assistant during her classes at the yearly Zenon Brzewski International Music Courses in Łańcut (Poland).
Marie-Louise de Jong * viola
Already at a very young age she got in touch with chamber music and attended the Orlando Festival Kerkrade several times with the youth orchestra of the festival. In 2015 she came back with the Moretti String Trio to attend the Orlando Masterclass.
Beside the St. George Quintet, she is member of the Moretti String Trio.
In 2011 and 2012 she was ,a.o. as a principal viola, member of the National Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands. Since 2012 she is co-principal viola (since 2015 principal viola) of the Gustav Mahler Jugend Orchester, that gives concerts in the major concert halls of Europe, such as Musikverein Vienna, Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Royal Albert Hall London etc. In November 2012 she took part in a collaboration project with the Gustav Mahler Jugend Orchester and the Staatskapelle Dresden. She also often plays in the philharmonie zuidnederland, Philharmonie Baden-Baden (principal viola) and the Gürzenich Orchester Köln (co-principal). Also, she played in the academy of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.
With the Mahler Jugend Ensemble she played at chambermusic festivals in Triëste and Munich, as well during the tours with the Gustav Mahler Jugend Orchester in Bolzano and Lisbon. Beside the Orlando Festival, she took part in several masterclasses such as the Encuentro de Musica y Academia de Santander (Spain), Aurora Masterclass (Sweden), Carl Flesch Academy Baden-Baden(Germany) and the Gustav Mahler Academy in Bolzano (Italy) where she got lessons and played chamber music with musicians as Guy Braunstein, Wolfgang Boettcher, Wolfram Christ, Hartmut Rhode, Hariolf Schlichtig, Erich Höbarth, Isabelle van Keulen, Jurgen Kussmaul, and Antonello Farulli.
As a soloist she played with the KHG-Orchester Freiburg, Freiburger KammerSolisten, Youth Orchestra of the Orlando Festival and the Philharmonie Baden-Baden.
Marie-Louise plays an Italian viola built around 1880, which was kindly provided to her by the Dutch Musical Instruments Foundation.
Wouter Vercruysse * cello
Wouter Vercruysse holds a Master of Music degree with highest distinction for cello at the Royal Conservatory of Ghent, where he was under the tutelage of Judith Ermert. Prior to his studies in Ghent, he had the privilege of studying with Jan Van Kelst at the Conservatory of Courtray. Armand Coeck has been Vercruysse' s personal mentor, under whose tutelage he has been able to expand his skills as a guitarist, improviser, composer, and chamber musician. Just as well, he has taken masterclasses in cello from multiple Grammy Award winner Yo-Yo Ma and had chamber music coaching
from Rainer Schmidt (Hagen Quartet) and Claus-Christian Schuster (Altenberg Trio of Vienna). To his credit, he has won first prizes in the Belfius Classics and Rotary competitions.
As a soloist and chamber musician, he has performed concerts in the world' s most prestigious halls: Carnegie Hall of New York, the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, Cité de la Musique in Paris, the Muziekgebouw aan ' t I J in Amsterdam, and the BOZAR Center for Fine Arts in Brussels. Wouter at the Lebbeke Music Academy.
In 2008 auurk records released his debut album, Nightbird, dedicated to the music of his mentor Armand Coeck. He appeared on VRT, EXQI, WTV (Belgian Television channels) and concerts were broacasted live on Radio Klara. The CD Nightbird also received airplay on NCRV Radio 4 (the Netherlands) and on numerous radio stations in the USA. Wouter Vercruysse appeared on EMI CLASSICS/VIRGIN CLASSICS on the CD Klara4Kids II.
In 2012 auurk records released his second CD, Folies de Flandre, featuring among other compositions, his own work for cello solo. Folies de Flandre received rave reviews among others in the Strad.
Bram Decroix * double bass
Bram studied classical double bass between 2004 and 2011 at the music colleges of Antwerp and Amsterdam, with teachers Lode Leire and Peter Stotijn. He took many master classes with great musicians such as Duncan Mctier, Dominic Seldis, Rick Stotijn, Symon Marciniak and Bruno Suys. In that same period, he was principal of the double bass section at the National Youth Orchestra of The Netherlands (NJO) and he played with the chamber music ensemble Sebastian Strings, conducted by Katy Sebastyen and Erwin Schiffer. Since 2009, Bram has been a member of the Flanders Symphony Orchestra and since 2012, he has been the principal of the bass section at the Belgian Chamber Philharmonics. Next to that, he performs regularly with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Brussels Philharmonic and the Summer Opera at Alden Biesen. Bram has already played in venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, London (for the BBC Proms), the Concertgebouw of Amsterdam and the Bozar in Brussels. In 2012, he played the double bass concertino of Larsson solo with the Orlando Junior Academy Orchestra. He has been a double bass teacher at the music academy of Gentbrugge since September 2013.