The Belgian conductor David De Geest (°13.09.1984, Eeklo) is Artistic Director of the symphonic orchestra Lumen Symphonicum, the film choir the Cinematic Art Choir, and holds the position of Professor at the Royal Brussels Conservatory (KCB), Kunsthumaniora GO Brussels and Kunstenacademie Asse. David is the son of Edward De Geest, the Honorary Ghent Cathedral organist and Honorary Director of the Kunstacademie Eeklo. David attended musical courses at the Kunstacademie Eeklo (Academy of Music and Drama) where he was awarded the diploma for piano in the class of his mother Monique Lanszweert and received the ‘Charter of the City of Eeklo’ for piano.
After his studies in Latin-Mathematics, he studied at the Royal Ghent Conservatory (2002-2007) and graduated in June 2007 as Master in Music option Music Theory/Writing and conducting, with great distinction. He also received the Pedagogic diploma to teach in several music disciplines. Main courses in his classical education included harmony, counterpoint and fugue, orchestral and choral conducting, composition, musical analysis and music history. For orchestral and choral conducting he was awarded greatest distinction. In 2007 and 2008, David specialized in conducting in Dresden and Nuremberg with Roderich Kreile and Karl-Friedrich Beringer. At Oxford University he specialized in choir conducting/training with Dr. Edward Higginbottom.
Since 2008, David conducted more than 300 performances, in Belgium (BOZAR), The Netherlands (Concertgebouw Amsterdam), France (Strasbourg Cathedral), Italy (St. Peter’s Basilica), Portugal (Palácio Foz), Mexico (CENART), Bulgaria (Royal Palace of Vrana, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral Sofia) and Japan (St. Mary’s Cathedral Tokyo, Seinen Bunka Center Sendai). In South Korea, David conducted in famous concert halls such as the Seoul Arts Center, KBS Hall Seoul, Suseong Artpia Daegu, Aram Nuri Arts Center Goyang and Sori Arts Center Jeonju. For europalia.china, David conducted in BOZAR, as well as several times for the Belgian Royal Family, a.o. the commemoration of King Baudouin’s 20th death anniversary and the 9/11-commemoration in 2011 in the Brussels Cathedral – with the performance of Mozart’s ‘Requiem’ – organized by the American Embassy of Belgium. During his concert tours, he conducted many times in the presence of the Belgian Ambassadors to Portugal, Bulgaria, Mexico, South Korea, and Japan.
Since 2015, David is conductor and artistic director of the symphonic orchestra Lumen Symphonicum, formed by professional musicians – aged around 30 – and specialized in classical Viennese repertoire. David conducted symphonies from Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert. Furthermore, orchestral works from Salieri, Hummel, Strauss and Piazzolla appeared on the concert programs. Concerti from Mozart and Stamitz were conducted by David and performed by international soloists such as Daniel Blumenthal (USA), Charles Neidich (USA), Eddy Vanoosthuyse (BEL), Luis Rossi (Chili), Antonio Saiote (Portugal) and Karl Leister (Germany). The orchestra also worked together with vocalists and choirs to perform music from the Viennese opera era. In 2019, Mozart opera arias and choirs were performed together with Beethoven’s First Symphony in the Brussels Conservatory Concert Hall. In the same year, David conducted Lumen Symphonicum’s premiere concert in hometown Eeklo with a.o. Mozart’s ‘Haffner’ Symphony on the program.
The Lumen Symphonicum presentation of Mozart’s ‘Jupiter’ Symphony and 21st Piano Concerto by Daniel Blumenthal earned a next royal visit to David’s conducting, with Prince Laurent of Belgium attending Lumen Symphonicum’s performance in the Ghent 'Miry' Concert Hall, the third concert in 2016 held one year after the orchestra’s founding. These two mentioned works by Mozart were recorded on CD in 2016, followed by Salieri’s Overture ‘La Secchia Rapita’, Mozart’s 40th Symphony and Schubert’s 1st Symphony in 2017.
As orchestral conductor, David was guest conductor of orchestras such as a.o. the Symphonieorchester Weimar, the Symphony Orchestra of the Royal Conservatory Brussels, Giovanile Arcantico Orchestra Milan and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Bulgaria. He worked closely with the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Belgian National Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestra of Flanders, European Philharmonia, Anima Aeterna, Ensemble Elyma, Aspetti Musicali, the Y&M Ghent String Orchestra, Brass Ensemble ‘In Cordae Musicae’, Ensemble ‘Sylphide’, La Capilla Panamericana and La Capilla Latino Americana.
Next to his orchestral symphonic conducting, David conducted works for choir and orchestra from Charpentier, Vivaldi, Bach, Handel, Haydn and Mozart. He conducted the Belgian premiere of Vanhal’s ‘Missa Pastoralis in G’ and Hummel’s ‘Te Deum’ and ‘Missa Solemnis in C’. As choral and orchestral conductor David conducted and produced CDs with a.o. Vivaldi’s ‘Gloria’ (RV 589), Handel’s ‘Coronation Anthems’, Mozart’s ‘Requiem’, Vanhal’s ‘Missa Pastoralis’ and Haydn’s ‘Nelsonmesse’. Furthermore, he conducted music from 20th century composers Daniel Pinkham, John Barry, Knut Nystedt, Ernst-Thilo Kalke and Jules Van Nuffel. David conducted Van Nuffel’s ‘Liberty Te Deum’ performed by the Dresdner Kreuzchor and the Schola Cantorum Cantate Domino.
As choir conductor and artistic director, David led the Schola Cantorum Cantate Domino Aalst from 2008 until 2015. He was responsible for the daily choral training and the final conducting for a large musical output of 200 works with an amount of over 150 newly trained singers. One of the many highlights was the jubilation concert ‘Cantate Domino sounds in triptych: Bach - Handel - Mozart’ (2012), which took place in Aalst in the presence of Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde - at the time - conducted by David.
As guest choral conductor, David led a.o. The Choir of New College Oxford, Dresdner Kreuzchor, Schola Cantorum Mexico, Sofia Boys’ Choir, the Orpheus Youth Choir Bulgaria, the Mozart Choral Ensemble Japan and the Tokorozawa and Wakayama Youth Choir Japan. During several concert tours, he conducted about twenty Bulgarian and Japanese choirs.
As choir conductor, David worked together with vocal soloists such as Qilian, Chen, Anne Cambier, Joris Bosman, Lebo M, Velile and classical conductors such as Lucas Vis, PierAngelo Pelucchi, Claire Gibault, Gabriel Garrido and Jos Van Immerseel. Film conductors he worked with, were: Justin Freer, Nick Glennie-Smith, Ben Parry, Pete Anthony and James Newton Howard.
For film music, David conducted for the composers Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard with his ‘Cinematic Art Choir’, including live concerts for four European concert tours with performances in a.o. Queen Elisabeth Hall Antwerp, Salle Pleyel Paris and Concertgebouw Amsterdam (‘Gladiator Live’, ‘Hans Zimmer Live’ and ‘JNH: 3 Decades of Music for Hollywood’). For many productions, David is responsible for choral and/or orchestral arrangements.
David composed several pieces: songs (on text by poet Claude van de Berge), choir and solo works, chamber music and compositions for orchestra and ensemble. Some of his most performed works are ‘Without Wings’ for solo saxophone, ‘Faces of Life’ for flute and piano, ‘Inspideas’ for chamber ensemble and ‘Choral songs from Japan’ for 4-part mixed choir and piano.
In regard to teaching, David works in Brussels as professor Choir (Kunsthumaniora since 2012 and the Royal Conservatory ‘School of Arts’ since 2013). Important projects conducted by David were a.o. Orff’s Carmina Burana (2015) and Dvořák’s ‘Messe in D’ (2016 and 2019). In the period 2007-2018, David worked as teacher Music Theory - Composition in Kunstacademie Lokeren. Since 2018, David works in Kunstenacademie Asse as teacher Piano Accompaniment, Composition, Arranging and Music Theory.