Bert Van Herck’s music has been performed in the US, and Europe among others by the Nouvel Ensemble Modern, Danish National Vokal Ensemble, Oxalys Ensemble, Garth Knox, Mario Caroli, Orchestre National de Lorraine (France), Jeremias Schwarzer, Ensemble Fa, Spectra Ensemble, White Rabbit, Talea Ensemble, Berten D’Hollander, Ian Pace, Ensemble Mosaik, Arditti String Quartet and Ensemble InterContemporain. He has been an active participant in several summer courses, such as the Acanthes summer courses in France, the Bartok Seminar in Hungary, the International Academy for Composition and Audio Art in Austria, the Wellesley Composers Conference, June in Buffalo, and Domaine Forget, all at which his music has been performed. There he has been able to meet many of today’s leading composers, such as Jonathan Harvey, Wolfgang Rihm, Pascal Dusapin, Marco Stroppa, Michaell Jarrell, Denis Smalley, Boguslaw Schaeffer, Mario Davidovsky, Martin Brody, Pablo Ortiz, Denis Bouliane, François Paris, Jean Lesage, David Felder, Charles Wuorinen and Roger Reynolds. He has also attended the Summer Course at IRCAM, the Tenso Seminar and the Darmstadt International Courses for New Music.
A native of Belgium, Bert Van Herck studied composition with Luc Van Hove and Luc Brewaeys before coming to Boston. He has written extensively for acoustic instruments, ranging from solo works to full orchestral compositions. He has been writing increasingly for electronics and instruments with live processing, and developed a great interest in microtonal music. He studied composition with Chaya Czernowin, Magnus Lindberg, Tristan Murail, Brian Ferneyhough, Helmut Lachenmann, and Julian Anderson; electronic music with Hans Tutschku; orchestration with Joshua Fineberg; and choral writing with Elliott Gyger.
In addition to his compositional career, Bert Van Herck is active as a conductor and a pianist. Recent performances include a concert in Merkin Hall and a performance of Bach’s D minor keyboard concerto. As the conductor of the Dudley House Orchestra at Harvard University, he performs a wide repertoire from Mozart to today, with special attention for a balance between standard repertoire and lesser known works. Recent concerts have featured music by Beethoven, Stravinsky, Mozart, Tubin, Rimsky-Korsakov and Sibelius.
Awards include the First Prize in the Cantabile Composition Competition, the Adelbert Sprague Composition Award, the Boott Prize for Choral Composition, the Kaske Fellowship, and the ‘Attestato di Merito’ in Torneo Internazionale di Musica, Rome. Additional recognition for his music came through the selection for performances at the ISCM World Music Days: In 2009 his ‘7 Chansons sur textes de Maurice Maeterlinck‘ were premiered in Växjö, Sweden; and ‘Spectra‘ was performed in Sidney, Australia in 2010.
Bert Van Herck presented his work in music theory on international conferences. At the Hull University MAC, he presented his work focusing on Olivers Knussen’s compositions and at the 11th Conference of the Dutch-Flemish Society for Music Theory his topic was ‘Feria‘ by Magnus Lindberg. He attended several master classes at the Orpheus Institute, and has his article on spectral music published in ‘Spectral/World Musics – Proceedings of the Istanbul Spectral Music Conference’.
For his dedication as a teacher, he has been awarded the ‘Certificate of Distinction in Teaching’ at Harvard University. He is presently completing his PhD studies there, and has been teaching music theory, electronic music and chamber music.