Flanders Symphony Orchestra

Kristiina Poska, conductor | Emmanuel Tjeknavorian, violin

Beethoven & Brahms

Ülo Krigul: title to be announced
Brahms: Violin Concerto D major op. 77
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Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 A major op. 92

Flanders Symphony Orchestra

Composed of highly committed and passionate musicians, and led by renowned conductors, the Flanders Symphony Orchestra both performs and creates new compositions as well as electrifying renditions of the main symphonic repertoire from the classical period onwards. 

The Flanders Symphony Orchestra is in residence at De Bijloke Music Centre, Ghent (member of the UNESCO Creative Cities of Music Network), and receives support from the Flemish Government and the City of Ghent.

Thanks to its own concert series in all major venues of Flanders and Brussels, the orchestra succeeds in reaching a large and loyal audience. In addition, the orchestra is a welcome guest at international venues and festivals in France, Germany, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

As from the concert season 2019-20, Kristiina Poska will become the new chief conductor of the Flanders Symphony Orchestra. The focus of her collaboration with the Flanders Symphony will be the project „Beethoven and beyond“ as well as programmes with music from Great Britain, Scandinavia, Baltics and Russia.

The orchestra was founded in 1960 by engineer Dirk Varendonck, also the orchestra’s first conductor. From 1984 onwards the ‘Nieuw-Vlaams Symfonieorkest’ was conducted by Patrick Peire, Robert Groslot and Fabrice Bollon. The orchestra finally adopted its current name in the mid-1990s.Principal conductors have included David Angus, Etienne Siebens and Seikyo Kim. British conductor Jan Latham-Koenig has been chief conductor from 2013-2019.

Together with De Bijloke Music Centre, the orchestra develops new orchestral formats such as ‘Classical Music Raves’, based around dance parties, and several outdoor events. In collaboration with Concertgebouw Bruges, the orchestra has developed ‘CLUB Surround’, a project in which the audience is seated on stage in between the musicians.

As one of Belgium’s most important orchestras, the Flanders Symphony Orchestra fulfills an exemplary role in creating outreach projects, educational projects as well as projects focusing on the development of young and talented musicians, composers, and conductors. 

© Tom De Visscher

Season 2018/19



Kristiina Poska conductor

Kristiina Poska captivates with her extraordinary musicality and her remarkably subtle conducting.
Born in the Estonian town of Türi, she began studying choral conducting at the Music Academy in Tallinn in 1998 and continued with orchestral conducting at the Music Academy Hanns Eisler in Berlin with Prof. Christian Ehwald in 2004.

After various engagements and stations with orchestras and at opera houses Kristiina Poska was asked to conduct Verdi's «La Traviata» at the Komische Oper Berlin in 2010. Enthusiastically received by both orchestra andaudience she was immediately re-invited for a series of Jacques Offenbach’s «La Périchole». Subsequently, Barrie Kosky appointed as First Kapellmeister. Together they developed «Die Zauberflöte» with the group 1927, which attracted world wide attention. Kristiina Poska remained First Kapellmeister at Komische Oper Berlin until 2016, leading many revivals and productions.

Kristiina Poska is an internationally sought-after conductor. She has worked with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, the Radio Symphonies in Cologne, Leipzig, Saarbrücken/Kaiserslautern, Frankfurt am Main and Vienna, at Vienna Konzerthaus with Camerata Salzburg, at the Mozartwoche Salzburg, the Munich Philharmonic, the Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, the Tonhalleorchester Zurich, the Sinfonieorchester Basel and St.Gallen, the Orchestra della Svizzera italiana, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Stras­bourg, the Copenhagen Philharmonic, the Gothenburg Symphony, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, the Estonian Sinfonietta at the Wiener Musikverein and the Beijing and Tokyo Symphony Orchestra.

Opera engagements brought her to Vienna Volksoper, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Finnish National Opera Helsinki, Royal Swedish Opera Stockholm, the Norwegian Opera Oslo as well as Opera Zurich, Basel and Klagenfurt where she received enthusiastic reviews. The Salzburger Nachrichten hailed her as «musical centre and heart of the overwhelming performance in its force as in its poetry» of «Lady Macbeth of Mzensk».

Projects in 2018/19 include engagements and reinvitations at the Semperoper Dresden, for a Gala-Concert with Dresdner Staatskapelle, the Komische Oper Berlin, the Tapiola Sinfonietta, the Gävle Symfonieorkester, as well as the Symphonieorkest Vlaanderen. Following hugely acclaimed concerts the Symphonieorkest Vlaanderen appointed her as new Chief Conductor starting with the 2019/20 season. She conducts the new production «The Merry Widow» at the English National Opera followed by «Le nozze di Figaro» in spring 2019 at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.

Kristiina Poska was supported by the Conductor’s Forum of the Deutscher Musikrat and won the prestigious German Conductor’s Prize in April 2013. Moreover, she received the 3rd price and the audience award at the renowned Malko-Competition in Copenhagen with the Danish Nat. Symphony Orchestra in 2012.

Season 2018/19

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Emmanuel Tjeknavorian violin

Since being awarded the Best Interpretation of the Sibelius Violin Concerto and Second Prize at the International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition in 2015, Emmanuel Tjeknavorian has gained international attention.

Last season, he toured the most renowned European concert halls as part of the Rising-Star Tour of the European Concert Hall Organisation. He made numerous important debuts, i.e. with the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra as  a soloist of the Orpheum Foundation Zurich and on German radio with the German Symphony Orchestra Berlin in the Berliner Philharmonie. Once again, he performed together with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the hr Symphony Orchestra and the Bruckner Orchestra Linz. 

This season’s highlights include new debuts with globally renowned orchestras such as the Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala and the London Symphony Orchestra, performing alongside such conductors as Semyon Bychkov, Riccardo Chailly and Yuri Temirkanov. Emmanuel Tjeknavorian is a frequent invitee at prestigious festivals and is a  ardent chamber musician. As such,  in the summer of 2018, he won the LOTTO-Sponsorship Prize issued by the Rheingau Music Festival and the NORDMETALL-Ensemble Prizes from the Mecklenburg Vorpommern Festival, together with his piano-partner Maximilian Kromer. This season he will also be performing at the Salzburg Mozart-week on Mozart’s very own “Costa” violin and at the Grafenegg Festival’s “Summer Night’s Gala”. Chosen as one of the “Wild Ones” by the Dortmund Concert Hall and a “Great Talent” by the Vienna Konzerthaus, he is to perform frequently in both.

Emmanuel Tjeknavorian’s first Sony Classical album “SOLO” garnered a lot of attention when it was released in December 2017, subsequently receiving the newly minted OPUS Classical Prize in October of the next year. Since September 2017 he has moderated his own radio show “Der Klassik-Tjek”, which airs on Radio Klassik Stephansdom. The young Viennese musician has been featured on numerous broadcasts, such as “Titel, Thesen, Temperamente” on ARD, Capriccio on BR, the Kulturzeit on 3sat, on ORF2 as well as on the show “Tomorrow’s Stars” together with Rolando Villazon on ARTE. 

Born in Vienna in 1995, Emmanuel Tjeknavorian grew up in a family of musicians and took his first violin session at the age of five. Two years later, he had his first public performance with an orchestra and since 2011 he has studied under Gerhard Schulz, a former member of the world-famous Alban Berg Quartet, at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. Emmanuel Tjeknavorian plays a Cremona 1698 violin by Antonio Stradivari, which was kindly loaned to him by a benefactor from the “Beare’s International Violin Society” in London.   

Season 2018/19

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Flanders Symphony: Season opening concert

The Flanders Symphony Orchestra performs the season opening concert in Brugge on 3 October which marks also the inauguration of their new chief conductor Kristiina

Poska. Further dates are in Brussels, Antwerp, Gent etc. The programme features Brahms' Double Concerto and Symphony No. 2 among others.

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  • Kristiina Poska feiert mit dem Sinfonieorchester Flandern einen gelungenen Auftakt

    In Brahms‘ Doppelkonzert ist es Kristiina Poskas klarer Führung zu verdanken, dass sich ein auf die Millisekunde genaues Spiel einstellt, das die Grundlage für diese solistischen Meisterleistungen bildet. So können der erste und dritte Satz begeistern, während der zweite zum Träumen einlädt.[…] Die eigentliche Sternstunde der Dirigentin schlägt mit Brahms‘ 2. Sinfonie. Die feine Abwägung zwischen Behutsamkeit und Expression, die man schon im Doppelkonzert miterleben durfte, begegnet einem hier wieder. […] Bis zum Schluss können Poska und alle Musikergruppen bezaubern. Dem kraftvollen Finale folgen anschließend tosender Applaus und etliche Bravorufe. Mit Kristiina Poska hat hier eine Dirigentin die Arbeit aufgenommen, die weiß, was aus diesem Orchester herauszuholen ist und wie man große Musik zur Aufführung bringt. Ein deutlicher Einstand, der Lust auf mehr macht.

    www. klassik-begeistert.de, Daniel Janz, 5.10. 2019