ISCM-Flanders throughout the years


In 2023, we organized a sector meeting around the theme "Instruments from around the World” We gathered at Concertgebouw Bruges. You can find a documented report of this engaging encounter here.


After two years of postponement, the World Music Days 2022 took place in New Zealand. Unfortunately, some of the selected works did not make it to the finish line, including the orchestral work EXPIRED by Karel Stulens. The World Music Days 2021 in Shanghai and Nanning, for which String Quartet I by Ward De Jonghe was selected, were definitively canceled. In the fall of 2020, the ongoing ISCM Virtual Collaborative Series was launched: an online platform where contemporary music from around the world is gathered and promoted via the ISCM Facebook page. We submitted multiple works including EXPIRED by Karel Stulens and String Quartet I Ward De Jonghe. This way, those works will be presented on the ISCM (online) international stage after all.

The Belgian Music Days experienced their third edition this year in Eupen (March 12 and 13) with Ostbelgien Festival as host. It was a sunny weekend with a combination of joyful reunions with old acquaintances and new encounters. Moreover, the versatile series of concerts received several favorable reviews.

Following a test run in 2021, we further developed spOren (traces): a tailored newsletter for new music enthusiasts for each season. The aim is to create a network for input and output, exchange of ideas, and sharing of knowledge about new music. Interested individuals can reach out to the (rotating) editorial team with both inquiries (do you write about...?) and contributions (I have written something about...).


2021 continues to be a difficult time for events with a global outreach. The World Music Days in Shanghai and Nanning, scheduled for September 2021, were not unexpectedly postponed to the end of March 2022 (and had eventually to be cancelled at all). The cancelled 2020 festival in New Zealand has been rescheduled for 23-30 August 2022.

On 12 July 2021 André Laporte celebrated his 90th birthday! André was the inspirer of ISCM-Belgium for many years, then became Honorary Chairman of ISCM-Flanders and was honoured as an Honorary Member of the International Society for Contemporary Music. He was appropriately honoured with a concert and a dedicated collection of compositions by his former pupils.


The 2020 World Music Days were supposed to take place from 21 to 30 April in Auckland and Christchurch, New Zealand, hosted by the Composers Association of New Zealand (CANZ). However, the worldwide outbreak of the corona-virus led to the cancellation of the entire festival. The orchestral work EXPIRED by Karel Stulens was chosen from the Flemish entries for the Call for Works.
The second edition of the Belgian Music Days takes place in Mons. This biannual festival focuses on promoting and enhancing Belgian classical music, jazz and cross-over repertoire from 1830 to today, with special attention for music of living composers. The Belgian Music Days were created by a group of musical partners from all three cultural communities of Belgium, with the goal to bring these communities closer together around a common musical repertoire. MATRIX, as the ISCM Flemish Section, is a member of this consortium. The international umbrella of the ISCM provides financial support.
On 10 December, ISCM-Flanders organised an online meeting about archival care, in collaboration with CEMPER, Kunstenpunt and Music Centre De Bijloke (Ghent).


World Music Days in Tallinn and Tartu, Estonia, with a remarkable festival title: 'Through the Forest of Songs’, connecting nature and choir music as festival themes. In response to the latter of these themes we together with the Flanders Arts Institute devoted our attention to the most recent choir music in Flanders (read more ->)

From our submission for the Call for Works, Wim Henderickx’s choir piece Blossomings was selected.

In September we invited the unsurpassed Canadian festival director David Pay (Music on Main (Vancouver), also the driving force behind the World Music Days of 2017) for a presentation and round table. Under the title 'Creating Your Own Weather: Exposure & Intrinsic Impact' he explained a recent study into the expectations and experiences of the concert audience (Concertgebouw Bruges, 11 September).


World Music Days in Beijing, China. Melissa Portaels (MATRIX) represents the ISCM Flemish Section as first delegate, Stef Coninx (Flanders Arts Institute) is the second delegate. From the six compositions submitted to the festival organization, Bram Van Camps Music for Three is selected for performance.


During the General Assembly on the 28th of October 2016, the members of ISCM-Flanders decide unanimously to charge MATRIX [New Music Centre] with the further representation of the region to ISCM. On the 3rd of November 2017 is this change universally excepted by the General Assembly of the ISCM.Starting in the middle of November, MATRIX takes over the central tasks of the representation from ISCM-Flanders.

World Music Days in Vancouver, Canada. Rebecca Diependaele (MATRIX) represents the ISCM Flemish Section as first delegate, Stef Coninx (Flanders Arts Institute) is the second delegate. Three works by Flemish composers are in the official program: Bozzini string quartet plays a composition from Frederik Neyrinck and Stefan Prins’s Hände ohne Orte is performed, too. Unfortunately, the selected piece by Aurélie Lierman is cancelled at the last minute due to a lack of preparation by the performer. The piece will be programmed at next year’s festival.


World Music Days in Tongyeong, South Korea. Marc Mathys, chairman of ComAV, represents the delegation from the ISCM Flemish Section. Flanders is presented with flare in the concert programming by the choral work Für Viele by Kurt Bikkembergs.


World Music Days in Slovenia. From the Flemish pre-selection, the piano solo piece, Mono by Jasper Vanpaemel is selected as part of the official festival program.


World Music Days in Wroclaw, Poland. Flanders is represented by no less than three pieces: Contr'Action II by Frederik Neyrinck, Stefan Prins’s Piano Hero # 1, and Drifting Sandby Annelies Van Parys. Stefan Prins wins the ISCM Young Composer Award.


During the World Music Days in Bratislava, Kosice and Vienna, Danse de la terre from Bart Vanhecke is performed as part of the official festival selection. Daan Vandewalle also plays a solo recital during the festival with music by among others Alvin Curran. Frederik Neyrinck makes an appearance as the pianist of the Viennese ensemble Platypus. Peter Swinnen is elected President of International Society for Contemporary Music, following the retirement of John Davies.


ISCM-Flanders organized the annual meeting of ISCM, taking place from the 25th of October until the 4th of November 2012, in Antwerp, Bruges, Brussels, Ghent, Leuven and Mons.

The following partners diligently take part in the preparations to help realize the World Music Days 2012 in Flanders:

  • Organisations: Concertgebouw Brugge, De Bijloke, deSingel, Festival van Vlaanderen Gent, Flagey, Handelsbeurs, TRANSIT, Musiques Nouvelles, Musiques&Recherches
  • Ensembles: Agartha, Apsara, Bl!ndman, Brussels Philharmonic - het Vlaams Radio Orkest, Champ d'Action, CRFMW, Emanon ensemble, HERMESensemble, Het Collectief, I Solisti del Vento, Logos M&M robotorkest, Muziektheater Transparant, Nadar Ensemble, Spectra Ensemble, Vlaams Radio Koor
  • and also: Muziekcentrum Vlaanderen, Forum des Compositeurs, Labo#

Within the context of the World Music Days the 22nd volume of the ISCM World New Music Magazine is published – completely focused on the new music of Flanders. Musicologist Maarten Quanten compiles the magazine and Mies Van Roy designs the exceptional layout.


World Music Days in Zagreb (April). The official selection from Flanders is Sundownby Bert Joris.

Vikingur Olafsson gives a lecture-recital about new music in Iceland during TRANSIT (a co-production with the Icelandic delegation of ISCM).


World Music Days in Australia. Flanders is represented by the piece Old Airs by Frank Nuyts, performed by The Song Company. Spectra Ensemble performes Avec diamants extrêmes by Filip Rathé, SPECTRA by Bert Van Herck, Jean-Luc Fafchamps’s Lettre Soufi Shîn and, as a part of Re:New, Lames by Daniel D’Adamo and D’un Rêve Parti by Bruno Mantovani.

The fourth ISCM-day is imbedded in TRANSIT festival for new music Leuven, with a press-presentation of the plans for the World Music Days of 2012 and a presentation from the Irish delegation (Eve O’Kelly, musicologist and pianist Mary Dullea).


The third ISCM-day takes place on the 17th of April at Concertgebouw Bruges. ISCM Portugal gives a presentation about contemporary music life in Portugal.

ISCM-Flanders becomes a partner in the European cultural exchange project Re:new.

During the World Music Days in Sweden, ISCM-Flanders signes the contract to organize the annual World Music Days festival in Belgium in 2012. This year, the festival program includes two pieces from Flemish composers: (...nuit cassée.) by Daan Janssens and Sept Chansons by Bert Van Herck.


The Flanders-Québec Award for 2007 is presented to Analia Llugdar during the second ISCM-day on January 28th, 2008 in deSingel, Antwerp. On the occasion of this event, Flemish newspaper De Standaard publishes this article.

First round table meetings regarding the organization of the World Music Days 2012.

At the World Music Days in Vilnius, Lithuania, Flanders is musically represented by the piece Das Utopias by Filip Rathé, performed by Kremerata Baltica. Jelle Dierickx presents the plans for 2012 to the General Assembly.

ISCM-dag 2


ISCM-Flanders announces its candidacy to host the World Music Days in 2012.

The first official ISCM-day is organised at De Bijloke in Ghent on 16 November in close collaboration with November Music. From the outset, this event was aimed at showcasing Flemish talent among both performers and musicians. International guests were invited to witness performances of music by Bram van Camp, Bart Van Hecke, Kaat de Windt, Yannis Kyriakides and Barbara Ellison. Stefan Prins’s composition Erosie (Memory Space #1)for viola and bajan was premiered at this occasion as well.


ISCM-Flanders launches its first annual Call for Works, with the following jury: André Laporte, Luc Brewaeys and Luc Van Hove. The outcome of this Call forms the basis of an expanding catalogue of Flemish compositions, many of which are submitted to the World Music Days in the following years.


ISCM-Flanders (ISCM Flemish Section) is founded on the 8th of December 2005 in Bruges by Luc Brewaeys, ChampdAction, Flanders Music Centre, November Music Flanders, Spectra ensemble, Peter Swinnen and Annelies Van Parys. André Laporte, composer and former president of the (former) ISCM Belgium, is declared an Honorary Member of ISCM-Flanders.

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