Schaunard Award 2018

Nominated by Dutch opera-critics and connoisseurs, Karel won the 2018 Schaunard Award for the opera productions he conducted (Britten - The Rape of Lucretia; Verdi - Un Ballo in Maschera and Bernstein - A Quiet Place).

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A Quiet Place – Opera of the Year

A Quiet Place was choses opera production of the year 2018 by the online magazine “Place de l’opera”.

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Teaching at the Conservatoire of Amsterdam

Since January, Karel teaches conducting at the Conservatoire of Amsterdam.

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Debut Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra

Listen to the concert from the Concertgebouw Amsterdam on NPO Radio4.

Raving reviews for A Quiet Place

‘Conductor Karel Deseure and Philharmonie Zuidnederland, on the other hand, exchanged effortlessly of musical form. And so a chemistry emerged between orchestra, singers and direction that revealed the inner essence of this opera: it is not about hearing but about listening.’

**** NRC, Joost Galema, 12 November 2018

‘Conductor Karel Deseure gave this musical palette plenty of color. He gave excellent leadership to the beautifully playing philharmonie zuidnederland.’

***** Peter Franken, Place de l’opera, 10 November 2018

‘Bernstein's music is accessible, but it is quite complex. The way in which the Philharmonie Zuidnederland, Karel Deseure and the many-headed cast that give shape, deserves praise.’

**** Volkskrant, Frits van der Waa, 13 November 2018

‘Conductor Karel Deseure we have to redeem from the label "promising"; the man is a top conductor… Deseure conjured up with his baton sounds of Strausserische glow, but also of Gershwin-esque swing. A big and compelling pleasure.’

Operagazet, Olivier Keegel, 10 November 2018

‘In the choir and orchestra, the love for Bernstein’s music blossomed. Under the steady hand of Karel Deseure, the South Netherlands Philharmonic played with great commitment. The orchestral sound had a direct character in a relaxed combination of sweetness and swing.’

**** Trouw, Frederike Berntsen, 15 November 2018

‘The young Belgian conductor led the newly-formed South Netherlands Philharmonic with a lot of verve.’

Theaterkrant, Max Arian,15 November 2018

‘Dem belgischen Dirigenten Karel Deseure gelang es am Pult der Philharmonie Zuidnederland, auf die unterschiedlichen Facetten dieser etwas überambitionierten Oper einzugehen, ohne den Faden zu verlieren. Transparent und differenziert gestaltete das Orchester die von Bernsteins Parlando durchzogenen Rand-Akte, peitschte die Musiker pointiert und wirkungsvoll mitsamt voll besetztem Schlagzeug durch die tänzelnden Rhyth- men des zweiten Aufzugs und ließ sogar am Ende der Oper den Eindruck musikalischer Geschlos- senheit entstehen.’

Das Opernglas, M. Fiedler, January 2019

A new season, a new website!

Welcome on my brand-new website created by Hans van der Woerd. My 2018/19 season is about to start with a concert at the Cathedral in ’s Hertogenbosch with Philharmonie Zuidnederland and the choirs Cappella Pratensis, Nationaal Vrouwen Jeugdkoor and Schola Cantorum Puerorum. A varied program is on the menu: a.o. Vivaldi’s ‘Gloria’, Poulenc’s ‘Litanies à la Vièrge Noire’ and a brand-new piece (world premiere) by Rob Zuidam for choir and orchestra ‘Cirkel’.

See calendar for further info.

A Quiet Place

On September 24. the rehearsals for the production of Bernstein’s last opera ‘A Quiet Place’ will start at the Opera Zuid Theatre in Maastricht. Opera Zuid is the only company in Europe and one of the only companies worldwide to stage this rarely performed opera. Bernstein intended it as a sequel to ‘Trouble in Tahiti’. In the revised 3-act version, he brilliantly incorporated this opera into the second act. The director and stage designer are the prize-winning duo Orpha Phelan and Madeleine Boyd. See calendar for the cast and further credits.

For pictures and videos of the rehearsals and other news, please check Instagram and Facebook.


It’s a real pleasure and honor to announce that from January 2019, I will teach conducting at the Conservatoire of Amsterdam.