Clari Cantores has the unique opportunity to work with two conductors. Both of them have their own style of conducting and artistic preferences. Michiel and Karen, who are brother and sister, ensure our singers enjoy a variety of music in a cohesive program.
Michiel Haspeslagh (°1982) was a singer in Clari Cantus from its beginnings in 1989, and shortly thereafter became head-chorister in the Gregorian boys’ choir ‘Koristen van Keizersberg’. During his studies of bassoon and voice at the Lemmens Institute his special love for both solo and choral repertoire became clearer. He quickly became a regular singer in such groups as Currende, Ex Tempore and the Goeyvaerts Consort.
Since 2008 Michiel has been a freelance tenor in the Flemish Radio Choir, Currende, Psallentes, Studium Chorale (Maastricht) and the Orpheus Vokalensemble in Germany. He also lends his talents as a singer to Nunc, a professional theatre group that specializes in exciting combinations of contemporary drama and music.
Michiel earned his master’s diploma in singing with Lieve Jansen at the LUCA School of Arts in 2013, following in 2014 with a second master’s diploma (cum laude) in choral conducting, under Erik Van Nevel.
At the beginning of 2010 Michiel’s mother, Ria Vanwing, passed on the ‘Clari Cantus torch’ to him. Under his direction the youth choir won the coveted ‘Choir of the Year’ award, a fitting reward for the accomplishments he made with the choir. The performance of John Rutter’s ‘Requiem’ in St Peter’s Church in Leuven in 2012 was another musical highlight. Michiel teaches at the Kunstacademie Zaventem. With his refreshing approach, knowledge of the voice as instrument, and a solid basis in performance practice, he is increasingly in demand as choir conductor. This has led to a number of new collaborations: since October 2013 he has conducted the ‘Personnel Choir’ of Bozar in Brussels, and since December 2013 he has been the artistic director of the Carmina Kamerkoor in Meise. In August 2014 he added the Brussels chamber choir Bruxell’A Cappella to his activities.
Like her brother Michiel, Karen Haspeslagh (°1976) grew up surrounded by music. After high school and her music education at the Municipal Conservatory in Leuven, she decided to go into music as her profession. Karen studied music pedagogy at the Lemmens Institute. At present she teaches General Music Culture at the SLAC Conservatory (Leuven) and is a music teacher for the very little ones (up to 4 years) together with their parents.
A passion for singing, choirs and conducting is in the blood. Karen sang for many years in Clari Cantus and a number of other vocal ensembles including the Brussels Cathedral choir and Il Nostromo del sogno. During her studies she conducted the Cantulietjes (the choir of our youngest singers) and later also conducted two adult choirs, Trinitas en the Bob Boon Singers.