A true European at heart (from French, Danish and Polish origin) he studied at the Royal College of Music, London, before going on to win the coveted Gulbenkian Fellowship. His debut conducting Macbeth at the Vienna Staatsoper in 1988 was a sensational success, and catapulted him almost over-night to international fame.
Since then he has been at the helm during many of the world’s greatest operatic and symphonic moments, including Aida, Macbeth, La Bohème, Peter Grimes, Tristan, Pelléas et Mélisande,
Die Tote Stadt, Carmen, Turandot and Elektra, and the ballet The Prince of the Pagodas.
He has enjoyed musical directorships with ensembles and organisations including the Orchestra of Porto, the Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte di Montepulciano, Teatro Massimo di Palermo and both the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg and Opéra National du Rhin. He was the founder and Artistic Director of the Young Janacek Philharmonic.
Since August 2011 he has been Music Director of the Moscow Novaya Opera, and since 2012 also Artistic Director of the Orquesta Filarmónica de la UNAM in Mexico City. From 2013 onwards he has been Artistic Director of the Flanders Symphony Orchestra in Bruges (Belgium).
His numerous guest appearances in opera and concert have included the New Japan
Philharmonic, Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Dresdner Philharmonie Orchester, … He was invited to conduct a number of companies at the Vienna State Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, National Opera Prague, Tokyo National Opera, Götenburg Opera, to name just a few.
The artistic oeuvre of Klaas Verpoest has its finality only intangible unstable carriers and mainly in the performing arts. Klaas Verpoest, is active as a video-performer in numerous multi-modal improvisation performances.
2×2, SichtLaut, SichtLaut Pigment, Long String(s), Augenblick, are some of the performance projects in which he participates. The combination and confrontation of multiple media through improvisation is the basis upon which the performers assume a fundamental equality of the components, sound, image, moving image and motion. The improvisational flexibility of the visual arts component, the musical component, the sonic contribution of the dancers and the movement of all participants, makes these performances unique. Since 2008, Klaas Verpoest has worked with many international performers both in Belgium and internationally.
Working as a video-performer in improvisation performances results in an unique encounter with written [contemporary] classical music.
Klaas Verpoest is not looking for a concrete visual translation of the composition, but he uses the different parameters of the composition and brings them together into a singular generative abstract image, which may be seen as an idiosyncratic visual response to the interpretation of the composition. The aim is to create an experience that at times illustrates a clear synergy between the picture and the sound – and at other times a strong contrast between these two experiences. Klaas Verpoest has been realizing live video graphics since 2006 for various [contemporary] classical compositions.
Finally, there is a strong typographic component present in the work of Klaas Verpoest. In the various literary productions he created since 2006, he explores through kinetic typography how the dynamics, musicality and layout that of contemporary poetry can be translated into tangible media, without compromising the lyrical sensibilities of the work.
This season’s opening concert honours those scarred and left behind by the First World War: the mothers. Petra Vermote’s creation focuses on the grief of ‘godmother’ Käthe Kollwitz. Exquisite music by Vaughan Williams and Sibelius, actress Chris Lomme’s healing words and refined images by Klaas Verpoest are a balm to the soul.