Michaël Vancraeynest (°1976) studied piano in the conservatory of Ostend under Arlette Vanneste. At 18 he began studying at the Lemmens Institute in Leuven (now LUCA School of Arts) where he obtained his master’s degree in music, with a minor in music education. He received excellent grades for the courses: piano, harmony and counterpoint, and composition. He took additional composition courses from Piet Swerts.
Teacher, pianist and organist
Michaël is employed as a teacher of ensemble, accompagnant, musical theory and choir. Michaël likes to improvise. He has made this apparent at several concerts. As an organist he is tied to the Duinenkerk in Ostend. He is the permanent conductor for multiple choirs.
In 2003 he won the prize for the best young composer at the World Sound Awards which took place during the Gent Film Festival. He made music for the short film Baby’s Peryl. Said music was performed at the World Soundtrack Awards by the National Orchestra of Belgium conducted by Dirk Brossé. Afterwards the score was also performed by the philharmonic. In Saint-Malo he took masterclasses in composing from, inter alia, Frèderic Devreese. As a composer, Michaël is also active in the choir world. In 2006 he composed a commission for the choir festival in Neerpelt. In addition to this he created some choral pieces which were published in, inter alia, Euprint and Koor&Stem. For the CD Nachtlied (2011) by Camerata Aetas Nova (former winner of Choir of the Year) conducted by Dieter Staelens, Michaël in collaboration with Vic Nees, Raymond Schroyens and Maarten Van Ingelgem composed a piece set to text by Jos Stroobants. In 2010 he organised MOON2021, a project with multiple choirs in Kursaal Oostende in light of Oostende Cultuurstad 2010. His composition Mare Amabile, a symphonic piece for choir and orchestra, was performed here.
In addition to this, Michaël wrote theatre music, such as for the production East End 2013. In 2016 he wrote the orchestral suite La Dolce Vita as a commission for Stringfun (Dirk Lievens). In 2014 he created Home@Xmas, a production for string orchestra, piano, harmony orchestra, choir, pipes and drums, and narration of text written by Dirk Ooms. This production was performed a total of 7 times. The last performance (early 2016, with 220 performers on stage and conducted by Michaël himself) took place in Concertgebouw Brugge.
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