A concert tour with new music dedicated to the rock group Pink Floyd. Playing background music to an early film by Alfred Hitchcock. The Belgian HERMESEnsemble has a record of unusual concert concepts.

Based in Antwerpen, even the instrumentation of the ensemble is unusual, featuring flute, piano, viola, cello, percussion, clarinet – and a mezzo-soprano. They call themselves 'a collective for contemporary music', but search confrontation with early music, world music and popular music, and investigate synergies with other disciplines such as theatre, fine arts, video, film and multimedia.

Many of the HERMES events explicitly have a visual character (old films or new media), and often take place at an unusual, appropriate locations. For instance they frequently perform in an old brewery near Antwerpen - and by the way: Their residence is an Augustine church from 1700!

Finding the right spaces to frame contemporary music is a key principle for the HERMESEnsemble. So is the direct contact to the audience, who are always sure to get a solid introduction to the music. This is what ensures the HERMESEnsemble an audience of not just the usual new music lowers, but a broader audience of those who are curious.

The concerts by HERMESensemble resulted in the following New:Aud resource:

Inspiratum Festival - An extraordinary experience

HERMESensemble was involved as main partners in creating the The Inspiratum Kanaal Festival in Antwerp. Here they presented a contemporary and multimedial concert programme at an untraditional venue: an old, restored brewery in an industrial area. The festival attracted a wide audience, and reached out to children and youngsters through collaborative workshops. For audience research in depth interviews was made with three members of the audience. This evaluation report describes the values and challenges of the project and shares conclusions and recommendations based on the interviews with audience members.


Belgium / Flanders
Founding Year: 
7- 11
Artistic Director: 
Koen Kessels
Chief Conductor: 
Koen Kessels
Contact Person: 
Kevin Voets
Everdijstraat 12, B-2000 Antwerpen
Number of annual concerts: 
21 - 30

This ensemble is participating in the following Working Communities: