Heleen Van Haegenborgh
The shape of the career of this young (30-ish) pianist is quite amazing. After graduating from the Conservatory of Ghent in 2004 and pursuing master classes with John Tilbury, she developed worldwide activities, reaching out to the USA and China as well as premiering avantgarde works at home. She likes joint ventures with non-musicians, thus subversively undermining the elitist image of contemporary music with a view to making it more attractive for a wider audience. She also explores interaction between each environment and the character of the music. Critics have acclaimed her as "enormously impressive" (The Wire, December 2010). Her piano is often coloured by wine glasses on the strings or other extended techniques. The effect of tapes is disconcerting, acoustic spaces shifting around in a heady manner. Morton Feldman, George Crumb, James Tenney, Alvin Lucier and Thomas Smetryns were among her associates. But she also collaborated with an electronics artist from Istanbul, Erdem Helvacioglu, reclaiming their respective roots in the 15th century. Heleen can already boast several CDs with work of her own (Entr'acte, London).