The Belgian conductor, Bart Van Reyn, studied conducting at the Royal Conservatoires of Antwerp (Choral Conducting) and Brussels (Orchestral Conducting), and went on to specialise in Early Music performance practice at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague under Jos van Veldhoven. He also attended master-classes with Paul Hillier, Harry Christophers, Frieder Bernius and Tonu Kaljuste, with ensembles such as The Sixteen, the Junge Vokalensemble Hannover and the Nederlands Kamerkoor.
As a member of the Kammerchor Stuttgart conducted by Frieder Bernius, Bart Van Reyn has recorded several award-winning discs and toured to Spain, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Singapore, Taiwan and Indonesia.
As Assistant Conductor Bart Van Reyn has worked for the opera houses of Brussels (la Monnaie), Antwerp and Ghent (Flanders Opera), Potsdam (Musikfestspiele Sanssouci), Basel (Theater Basel) and Maastricht (Opera South). He has assisted many conductors including Andreas Spering, Michael Hofstetter, Koen Kessels, Reinbert De Leeuw, Jos van Veldhoven, Elgar Howarth, Attilio Cremonesi, Christoph Poppen, Yoel Levi, Enrique Barrios, Sian Edwards, Alexandr Rudin, Etienne Siebens, Ottavio Dantone, Hans-Christoph Rademann, Philippe Herreweghe and Richard Egarr.
One of Belgiumís most respected and active conductors of the new generation, Bart Van Reyn mainly focuses on the vocal repertoire: opera, oratorio and a cappella music. Recently, he conducted performances of the oratorios Messiah, Matthäus-Passion (BWV 244), Johannes-Passion (BWV 245), Weihnachts-Oratorium (BWV 248), Mass in B minor (BWV 232), Die Schöpfung, Mozart Requiem, Paulus and Ein deutsches Requiem.
Known for his passionate and energetic approach, in the year 2000 Bart Van Reyn founded his own group, Octopus Ensemble, a multi-faceted organisation consisting of a solo voice consort, a chamber choir, a symphony chorus and a period instrument orchestra. The ensembles swiftly generated a large amount of interest, and they have now performed at all of Belgiumís major festivals and concert venues, such as Bozar Brussels, deSingel Antwerp, De Bijloke Ghent, Concertgebouw Bruges, Kaaitheater Brussels, Koningin Elisabethzaal (Queen Elizabeth Hall), and also further afield at LíArsenal Metz, Cité de la Musique Paris, De Doelen Rotterdam and the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire Moscow. The Octopus Ensemble has collaborated with Brussels Philharmonic, deFilharmonie, Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen (Royal Flemish Philharmonic), Symfonieorkest van de Vlaamse Opera, Musica Viva Moskou, and Baroque orchestra Musica Viva B'Rock. He also wants Octopus Ensemble exploring the music further, following previous collaborations with Jan Decorte and theater collective SkaGeN.
In 2011 he also founded the Berliner Kammerchor, which recently made its Berlin debut to great acclaim.
Beside his own ensembles, Bart Van Reyn has worked with the NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, Brussels Philharmonic, Orchestra of Flanders Opera, Capella Augustina Köln, Florilegium Musicum, Prima la Musica, Nederlandse Bachvereniging, Vlaams Radio Koor (Flemish Radio Choir) and RIAS-Kammerchor Berlin. He has conducted several works at the Steve Reich Festival in The Hague in the presence of the composer. In the field of new music he also collaborated with the Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho.
As assistant conductor and conductor Bart Van Reyn has worked for the Vlaamse Opera (Flemish Opera), Theater Basel, the Munt and the Music Festival Potsdam Sanssouci. He was involved in numerous opera productions: Rinaldo, Semele, Ariodante (Georg Frideric Handel), Dido and Aeneas (Purcell), Don Giovanni, Cosí fan tutte, Die Zauberflöte, Le nozze di Figaro (Mozart), The Rape of Lucretia (Benjamin Britten) La Strada (Huff) and L'amour de loin (Saariaho).
In 2006 he conducted Purcellís Dido and Aeneas at Theater Basel. From 2006 to 2008 he was Musical Director of Milanís period-instrument orchestra Musica Rara, with which he toured widely throughout Italy. He has conducted concerts in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Singapore, Taiwan and Indonesia.
In 2010-2011 Bart Van Reyn conducted G.F. Handelís Messiah in Antwerp and Brussels, prepared L.v. Beethovenís Symphony No. 9 for both the Flanders Symphony Orchestra and the Brussels Philharmonic, conducted Gabriel Fauréís Requiem with the Octopus Chmber Choir, conducted Orffís Carmina Burana at the Flanders Festival, assisted on Saariahoís Líamour de loin at Flanders Opera, conducted J.S. Bachís Matthäus-Passion (BWV 244) at the Palais des Beaux Arts Brussels and deSingel Antwerp, and was musical director for a tour of the music theatre production Almschi, based on the life of Alma Mahler.
For 2011-2012 Bart has been invited to the Haydn Festival Brühl to conduct two concerts of his sacred music. He will also be conducting Haydnís Jahreszeiten in Brussels and Antwerp, and Mozart Waisenhaus and Spatzen Masses as well as Haydnís Nicolai and Nelson Masses in Antwerp. He will conduct a newly devised youth production at Flanders Opera, and will be assisting Leo Hussain, Antoni Wit and Michel Tabachnik on repertoire by Dmitri Shostakovich, Szymanowski and Debussy.