Erik Desimpelaere (°Harelbeke, 28-06-1990) is a Belgian composer, pianist and conductor.
Erik Desimpelaere obtained a Master’s Degree in Piano from the Royal Conservatory of Brussels with Piet Kuijken and a Master’s Degree in Composition from the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp with Wim Henderickx and Luc Van Hove. In 2018 he obtained a Bachelor Degree Orchestral Conducting at the Amsterdam Conservatory with Ed Spanjaard and Lucas Vis.
Erik Desimpelaere composes music for various settings, ranging from symphonic orchestra, musical theatre and symphonic wind band to chamber music and solo repertoire. His compositions are founded on one of the basic principles of Western music: the interplay between two horizontal lines and the vertical result of this. By combining this basic principle with a targeted use of the achievements from the 20th century and an interest in cross-over with jazz and pop, he is searching for a 21st-century language of his own. As a composer, Erik has cooperated with various ensembles and artists, including het Kamerorkest Brugge, The symphonic Band of the Belgian Guides and the Royal Navy Band of Belgium, Kugoni trio, Astria trio, Belgian Brass, Eburon quintet, Arco Baleno and David Desimpelaere. He also works as an arranger for several ensembles.
As a pianist, Erik Desimpelaere forms a permanent duo with his brother David Desimpelaere, double bass player. They play a mixture of original double bass repertoire and transcriptions. In 2013, they released the CD ‘Reflections on a song’ (Phaedra Classics) with Belgian repertoire for double bass and piano. Their second CD 'Smile' (Dynamic Records) was released in March 2018. Erik is also part of the Chiarina piano trio and regularly performs in various chamber music ensembles.
Erik Desimpelaere is the principal conductor of the Royal Symphonic Wind Band Vooruit Harelbeke. He assisted the Dutch National Opera Academy with the productions of ‘The Mother of the Black-Winged Dreams’ (Hanna Kulenty), ‘Cendrillon’ (Jules Massenet), ‘Hänsel und Gretel' (Engelbert Humperdinck), 'The rape of Lucretia' (Benjamin Britten) and 'Cosi fan tutte' (W.A. Mozart). In 2016, he conducted the de world premiere of ‘Over’ (Rick Van Veldhuizen) at the Opera Forward Festival in the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam. In 2018 he conducted two performances of Brittens chamber opera 'The Turn of the Screw'. In 2020 he was assistant-conductor with the Nederlandse Reisopera during the production 'Bruid te koop!' (B. Smetana). He is also the curator of the International Composition Competition Harelbeke (ICCH), a competition that encourages composers from all over the world to integrate the musical language of the 21st century into compositions for symphonic wind band.
2011 – Prix Agniez for ‘Les cinq Motets d’Mirages’
2011 – 2nd Prize in the Junior Category of the International Antonin Dvorak Composition Competition
2012 – 3rd Prize in the Junior Category of the International Antonin Dvorak Composition Competition
2012 – Prix Buffin de Chosal for Counterpoint
2013 – 1st Prize of the International Composition Competition Harelbeke
2013 – Kompastprijs of the Past Presidentclub of JCI Harelbeke