Erik Desimpelaere (°1990, Kortrijk) is a Belgian composer, conductor and pianist.

Erik studied piano at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels with Piet Kuijken and composition at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp with Wim Henderickx and Luc Van Hove. He studied orchestral conducting at the Conservatory of Amsterdam with Ed Spanjaard and Lucas Vis. Since 2020 Erik is head of the Kortrijk Conservatory. He is curator of the International Composition Competition Harelbeke (ICCH), a competition that encourages composers from all over the world to integrate the 21ste century musical language into their writing for symphonic wind band. 


Erik composes and arranges music for various ensembles: symphony orchestra, music theatre, wind band, chamber music and solo repertoire. The fundament of his compositional style lies with one of the basic principles of Western Music: the counterpoint of two horizontal musical lines and its vertical harmonic result. Erik searches for an own 21st-century musical language by combining this principle with the use of 20st-century techniques and cross-over between different genres. He worked with with several (international) artists, ensembles and orchestras. Here you can find an overview of his compositions and arrangements.

A concerto in one movement, based upon the sonata form. Beautiful sounds from the East thanks to the dialogue between Western and Indian musical traditions. Cyclical but always shifting. The listener is carried away by rhythms varying from avant-gardictic to idyllic. The piccolo flows through all these different timbres. A particularly versatile work.

Cultuurpakt on Concerto for piccolo and orchestra (2016)


Erik is chief-conductor of the Royal Symphonic Wind Band Vooruit Harelbeke (BE). He is frequently asked as guest conductor, with amongst others Phion, Belgian Brass and Ataneres Ensemble. He was assistant conductor with the Dutch National Opera Academy, the Dutch Touring Opera and the North Netherlands Symphony Orchestra (NNO).


Erik has a duo with his brother David Desimpelaere, double bassist. They perform a mix of original (new) works and transcriptions. This way, they want to enlarge the repertoire for double bass and piano. They have released two albums: Reflections on a song (2013) and Smile (2018).

(Images: 2Photographers)

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