Biography

Esther Kouwenhoven studied classical singing with Lena Lootens at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels and graduated magna cum laude in 2018. She was a soloist in Bach’s Matthäus-Passion, Hohe Messe and Magnificat, Gloria by Vivaldi, Carmina Burana by Orff and Mozart’s Requiem and Krönungsmesse and Mahler’s 4th symphony. She was part of the choir of operahouse La Monnaie in Brussels and she performed the role of Rachida in “De Tempelberg” by Nina Fukuoka and the song cycle “Entre deux chemises” by Gillis Sacré. Both pieces written especially for her. Esther has worked with conductors like Bart Van Reyn, Paul Dombrecht, Geert van den Dungen and Sir Roger Norrington. In 2016, she won the third prize in the Bach Vocalistenconcours organised by the Bachkoor Brabant. In 2018, she was a semi-finalist in the category “Mélodie française” at the Concours International de chant de Marmande, a finalist in the competition Les Nouveaux Talents de l’Art lyrique and she won the third prize in the international Bell’Arte singing competition. Esther took part in masterclasses by Miah Persson, Christoph Prégardien and Julius Drake among others and since 2015 she forms a lied duo with pianist Elias Van Dyck with whom she has participated in the Udo Reinemann International Lied Masterclass 2018-2019. In her repertoire are several song cycles like the Ariettes Oubliées by Debussy, Winterreise by Schubert and Liederkreis Op. 39 by Schumann. Since 2018, Esther is being coached by Hanneke de Wit.