Lara Denies (°2000) is a Belgian composer from Antwerp. She was born to a musical family - both her parents being trained musicians - and up until 6th grade she attended the Steinerschool De Wingerd, where music played an important part in the curriculum. When she was 7 years old, she started taking violin classes from Saïda Willekens in the music academy of Borgerhout (Antwerp). At 13 she started piano lessons taught by Jeroen Malaise and she joined Youth Choir Waelrant of Borgerhout conducted by Marleen De Boo.
Two years later Denies started taking music theory classes taught by Maarten De Splenter. This course included an introduction on composing, which only aided in fanning the flames of her interest in the subject. Denies is currently studying composing at the Royal Conservatoire in Antwerp under, among others, the tutelage of Wim Henderickx and Steven Prengels. She also takes Conducting taught by Luc Anthonis as an elective.
Her writing style is quite changeable due to her young age and is characterised by influences of, Belgian, folk music. Aside from a few pieces for choir she has written a piece for wind quintet (Aline's Journey, 2019), a piece for strings (Folk Dance Suite, 2019) for the Youth Orchestra of West-Flanders, a piece for soprano and cello (Tristesse de la Lune, 2019) based on a poem by Charles Baudelaire and a piece for soprano and violin (Au bout du chemin, 2019) based on poem by Charles Guérin. She has also written a trio for piano (Douleur, 2020).
In 2020 she won the first edition of Koor&Stem’s composing competition Vic Nees, in the category for students of conservatories with the piece What is your substance, whereof are you made.
A dedicated musician
Lara participated in the international composing course Soundmine twice (2018 and 2019) and has taken part in the classes for traditional folk music in Gooik several times. As a member of Youth Choir Waelrant she frequently participated in international competitions where the choir took home trophies on a regular basis, as was the case during the 2018 World Choir Games in South-Africa. She worked as a volunteer during the concert cycles of Koorlink.
Lara Denies gives classes in musiclab in the academy of Berchem and conducts children's choir, youth choir and adult choir at the music academy of Borgerhout.
Choral works (selection)
- Song (When I am dead my dearest) (2019) for SATB, on a poem by Christina Rossetti, available through the composer
- Caged Bird (2019) for SSA, on a poem by Maya Angelou, available through the composer
- What is your substance, whereof are you made (2020) for SSAATB, on a poem by William Shakespeare, click here
Lara Denies took part in the first edition of the Vic Nees Composition Contest, an initiative of Koor&Stem, ComAV, Vlaams Radiokoor, and the European Music Festival for Young People. It is made possible through support of Sabam for Culture.
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