The organising team of ESOF consists of six enthusiastic members, gathered around the idea of organizing a festival for student orchestras by Pieter Lembrechts, the president. All of them have a strong background in music in general and in the world of university ensembles in particular. Both professionally and in their spare time, they have collected an impressive palmares of event organisations.
Pieter Lembrechts is the inspirator of the ESOF-project. Innovative thinking is his second nature and is what he applies in his job as Manager of Casco Phil. In the past, he worked at the Belgian National Orchestra, BOZAR MUSIC and as a marketing consultant at Calidat. His passion for music – he plays the trumpet – and his sincere love for amateur music have made him an enthusiastic long-time member of the USO and UHO. With these positive experiences in mind, he developed the idea of a European platform for Student Orchestras.
Matthew Coucke was a violinist in the University Symphony Orchestra (USO) of the KU Leuven for over 8 years. He took up several positions in the board of the USO such as president, treasurer and member of the concert tour team. Matthew was responsible for the general coordination of the first ESOF festival in 2012 and is our finance and international development director managing the Creative Europe grant. In his day-time job, Matthew is a contract specialist for European Union IT projects at Accenture.
Jurgen Peeters has been a trombone player in both USO and UHO for over 8 years. He was an active member of the concert tour team, and organized 4 concert tours in Europe. He used his organisational skills to start up numerous events, most of them within the world of amateur music. Apart from his everyday job as a teacher, Jurgen conducts several wind bands and is a freelance musician playing in several orchestras in Belgium. As an entrepreneur, he founded his own business, in which he combines his organisational and writing skills.
Karen Raeymakers comes from a big musical family. She started playing violin and flute at a very young age. She already joined the orchestra’s board as treasurer after only 2 years of being a member of the Universitair Symfonisch Orkest. At the same time she organised a 10 day concert tour to Armenia. Karen works as a financial controller at Baloise Insurance. Apart from her passion for music, she’s very active in sports.