This CD came to be due to the huge respect that Eddy Vanoosthuyse has for the both Roeselaarse composers. He came to know them throughout different time periods of his career: He met Raymond Ducancq at a young age as a conductor and composer and immediately they developed a strong mutual respect for each other. Raymond dedicated a number of pieces to him and conducted a number of his works for Harmony Orchestra’s both at home and abroad. Vanoosthuyse came in contact with Willy Soenen through a common friend (Guido Six). It goes without saying that the two developed great respect for each other. Vanoosthuyse conducted a number of pieces for clarinet choir and harmony orchestra composed by Soenen. Willy dedicated ‘Concertino for Eddy’ to him after which he created ‘Midwest Clinic’ in Chicago.
The International Clarinets was founded in 1998 by Eddy Vanoosthuyse. The group is exclusively comprised of students and former students from this Belgian clarinet virtuoso. Throughout the years the ensemble has been comprised of musicians from many countries all over the world. The group has performed in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy and the US. The International Clarinets have worked together with soloists such as François Glorieux (piano), jazz legend, Eddie Daniels (USA), Wenzel Fuchs (Berliner Philharmoniker), Larry Combs (Chicago Symphony), Philippe Cuper (Orkest Opera de Paris), however they are also focused on coaching young talent. Initially the ensemble was founded to provide a platform for students to play together, however the group has now grown to be one of the leading clarinet choirs in the world, with a repertory which is being internationally covered. The programming includes arrangements of the works of Weber, Rossini, Beethoven, Bach, Vivaldi among others as well as original works from mainly Belgian composers (Brossé, Laporte, Brewaeys, Van der Roost, Crepin, Soenen, Decancq and Goddaer).
Eddy Vanoosthuyse is one of the most respected clarinettists of his generation. He started his artistic career path at a young age as a solo clarinettist at the Opera of Flanders, he later became solo clarinettist with the new orchestra of the Flemish Opera, a function he exchanged for his position at the Brussel Philharmonic (former BRT Philharmonic Orchestra). In addition he is a teaches clarinet at the Royal Conservatory Gent (University Gent/School of Arts) as well as Fontys Academy for Music and Performing Arts Tilburg. He was selected for the World Philharmonic Orchestra (Georges Prêtre) and the Symphonicum Europeae millennium concert of Nations in 1999 in the Fisher Hall/Lincoln Center New York.
Willy Soenen has been active in diverse orchestras and ensembles, including the Philharmonic Orchestra of Antwerp (now known as the Antwerp Symphony), the ‘Stuttgarter kammerochester’, the ‘Belgisch Kamerorkest’ and the ‘Modern Brass Quintet’ as well as big bands (Including among others the band led by Franz Lebrun in the Casino-Cursaal in Oostende). As an educator, he initially taught musical development in the community education program and Trumpet in the part-time art education program. Later he taught at the Royal Music Conservatory of Gent and was the Director of the Academy for Music and Word in Tielt.
Raymond Decancq studied at the Urban Academy of Music and Word ‘Adriaen Willaert’ in Roeselare and the Royal Music Conservatory of Gent. He started his music career part-time. Initially Decancq followed in his Father, grand father and great grandfathers footsteps as a tailor. He first fulfilled his artistic dreams as a pianist with several commercial ensembles and this led to a concert tour organized by Sabena (Former Belgium Airline) through the former Belgian Congo. He has conducted the Harmony Orchestra ‘Door Strijd naar Kunst’ in Roeselare from from 1960 through to 1983. From 1968 till 1995 he was a music educator at the high schools of Tielt, Kortrijk, Poperinge, Diksmuide and Roeselare.