The organising team of ESOF consists of 8 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 Marketing & Communication Manager of the National Orchestra of Belgium. In the past, he worked at BOZAR MUSIC and as a marketing consultant at Calidat. He is also a managing partner at PULP no fiction. 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.
Karel De Gendt
During his studies in Bio-engineering, Karel De Gendt was an active member and board member of the Leuven University Choir. During his research career, he was the President of the University Symphonic Wind band (UHO) and played the double bass in the USO at KU Leuven. At the moment, Karel is the manager of the Department of Oncology at the University Hospital Gasthuisberg, one of the largest hospitals in Europe. Throughout his career, he has developed an extensive network of international contacts that has proven to be very valuable for ESOF.
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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.
Matthew Coucke was a violinist in the University Symphony Orchestra (USO) of the KU Leuven for over 5 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. As an alumnus of the Faculty of Arts and Master in European Studies, he has a strong interest in European integration. He is currently employed as an analyst at Accenture.
Karen Raeymaekers comes from a big musical family and started playing violin and flute at a very young age. When studying at the KULeuven, she immediately joined the Universitair Symfonisch Orkest and became active in the orchestra’s board after only 2 years of being a member. Karen enjoys challenges as she at the same time organised a 10 day concert tour to Armenia. She is currently studying Business Administration at the KULeuven, campus Brussel. Apart from her obvious passion for music, she also loves sports.
It is not a coincidence that Jan Agten guided one of the orchestras during the 2015 edition. His social character and organisational skills have for many years contributed to the success of the University Symphony Orchestra of the KU Leuven. He organised trips, played horn and was member of the board. Currently Jan is working as project manager at one of the biggest breweries in the world, where his resilience and communication talents are highly appreciated. Therefore he is the perfect man to manage the planning and coordinate the work force during the festivals.
Jesse Trekker has for many years been the driving force within the University Symphony Orchestra of the KU Leuven. He is a versatile person, playing horn, organising concert tours and leading the orchestra as president. As can be seen in his studies and from a personal perspective, Jesse is comfortable with working in an international atmosphere. His career as a researcher and entrepreneur at IMEC benefit greatly from his logistical and organisational skills. His clever and hands-on approach are the perfect match for the function of logistics within the ESOF-Team.