“This man is amazing - working with him [...] has been a joy; so creative ans so rewarding.” - Paul Carr
“Deseure is a magician in the pit.” - NRC Handelsblad
“Having heard Karel Deseure conduct the music of Tchaikovsky, Dvorak and Schumann I was immensely impressed by his musicality and ability to shape the musical spirit and flow with elastic gestures. It is a rare gift to make music emerge organically and inevitably, combined with a physical capacity to do so.” - Semyon Bychkov
As a flutist Karel Deseure graduated from the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp and studied conducting at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. He was privileged to have masterclasses with conductors such as Bernard Haitink, Peter Ëotvös and Jorma Panula.
In 2012 he was awarded the Anton Kersjes Foundation scholarship and from 2013-2015 was appointed assistant conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2016 he assisted Valery Gergiev at the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder and Daniele Gatti in two series of concerts with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam.
In the early stage of his career Karel has conducted the Belgian and Dutch orchestras extensively such as the Brussels Philharmonic, Liège Royal Philharmonic, Antwerp Symphony, Arnhem Philharmonic orchestras, philharmonie zuidnederland. In 2017, he made his debut with the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester and the Belgian National Orchestra.
In 2018/19 he conducted the Württembergische Kammerorchester in Heilbronn and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra. Highlights of the 2019/2020 season include returns to the Orkest van Het Oosten, philharmonie zuidnederland, Antwerp and Flanders Symphony Orchestras. In 2020/21 Karel Deseure returns to the Philharmonie zuidnederland in Dvorak Symphony no.9 and Bach Mattheus Passion. He conducts this orchestra in the pit of Opera Zuid in a production of Ravel Rhapsodie Espagnole and Poulenc La Voix Humaine with rave success.
His 2021/22 season includes his debut with the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra in a Nielsen, Stravinsky, Dessner programme with soloists Katia and Marielle Labèque, Bryce Dessner and David Chalmin. Karel equally makes his debut with the Orchestre de chambre de Lausanne in a Malipiero, Bach, Stravinsky programme. Returns include the North Netherlands Symphony Orchestra in a John Williams production and the Belgian National Orchestra in a Beethoven programme.
In 2022/23 Karel conducts the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra with pianists Katia & Marielle Labèque and the Orchestre National de Cannes. He returns to the Orchestre de chambre de Lausanne in a Ravel programme and to the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic in Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique.
Karel’s operatic career started with successful debut at the Opera Zuid in 2016 conducting Puccini La Bohême. Contributing to his success were critically acclaimed tours in 2018/19 of Bernstein’s A Quiet Place and Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera which he undertook with Opera Zuid, as well as performances of Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia at the Hague Opera and in the pit of Budapest Opera House.
In 2021/22 he conducts Kurt Weill Der Silbersee at the Flemish Opera, Benjamin Britten A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Opera Zuid and Johann Strauss Die Fledermaus at the Dutch National Opera Academy.
Highlights of 2022/23 include Humperdinck Hänsel und Gretel in the Nederlandse Reisopera production and Mozart Cosi fan tutte at the Toulon Opera.
In 2018, Karel was granted the Schaunard Award in recognition of his opera work in the Netherlands.
In 2019, Karel Deseure has been appointed Professor of conducting at the Amsterdam University of the Arts.
2022-23 season - Please contact Véronique Jourdain Artists Management for any alterations.
Photo credit: © Marleen Dalhuijsen
Karel leads a Dessner, Nielsen, Stravinsky programme. He is invited back on the spot in February 2023.
In November 2020, Karel Deseure returns in the pit of Opera Zuid (Ravel-Poulenc La voix humaine/L’heure espagnole) and again in May-June 2022 (Britten A Midsummer Night’s Dream).
In 2019, Karel Deseure is appointed Professor of conducting at the Amsterdam University of the Arts.